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JAN -3 1! i 





In the following Correspondence the letters of 
Goethe have been printed from the originals 
now in the possession of Mrs. Alexander 
Carlyle. These letters had been done up in 
a parcel, and packed away by Carlyle, some 
thirty years before his death, in a box which 
was afterwards used exclusively for papers 
connected with Cromwell. Under these papers 
they were buried ; Carlyle forgot where he had 
put them, and they were not found until the 
contents of the box were sorted shortly after 
his death. 

The letters of Carlyle are printed from a 
careful copy of the originals now preserved 
in the Goethe Archives at Weimar. These 


copies were furnished by the gracious per- 
mission of H.R.H. the Grand Duchess of 
Weimar, to whom for this favour the gratitude 
of every reader of this volume is due. 


Cambridge, Massachusetts, 
January 1887. 


Carlyle was in his twenty-ninth year when, in 
June 1824, he first wrote to Goethe, sending 
him his Translation, then just published, of 
Wilhelm Meisters Apprenticeship. He had 
not yet attained to any definite position in the 
world of letters ; his writing hitherto had been 
tentative, much of it mere hackwork, and had 
attracted little attention. His name was not 
known outside a narrow circle ; he had not yet 
acquired full possession of his own powers, nor 
was he at peace with himself. For ten years 
he had been engaged in constant and severe 
spiritual wrestlings ; his soul, begirt by doubts, 
was painfully struggling to be free. The pre- 
dominant tendencies of contemporary English 
thought were hateful to him ; Philosophy in its 
true sense was all but extinct in England ; the 


standard of ideal aims was hardly held high by 
any one of the popular writers. Carlyle had 
laid aside the creed of his fathers, and, depend- 
ent for guidance only upon the strength of his 
own moral principles, was adrift without other 
chart or compass. 

It was in this condition, perplexed and 
baffled as to his true path, that Carlyle fell in 
with Madame de StaeTs famous book on Ger- 
many. His interest was aroused by it. From 
her animated, if somewhat shallow and imper- 
fect accounts of the speculations of the living 
German Poets and Philosophers, he learned to 
look towards Germany for a spiritual light that 
he had not found in the modern French and 
English writers. 1 He became eager to study 
German, that he might investigate for himself. 
But German Books and German Masters were 
alike scarce in Edinburgh. Edward Irving 

1 " I still remember," says Carlyle in his Letter to Goethe 
of 3d November 1829, "that it was the desire to read 
Werner's Mineralogical Doctrines in the original, that first 
set me on studying German ; where truly I found a mine, 
far different from any of the Freyberg ones ! " But it was 
Madame de StaeTs book that kindled his enthusiasm. 


had given him a dictionary, but a grammar had 
to be procured from London. 

It happened fortunately that about this time 
Carlyle met with a young man named Jar- 
dine, who had been his schoolfellow at Annan, 
and who was then, in 1819, settled in Edin- 
burgh, having returned from Gottingen, where 
he had resided for a short time as tutor to a 
young Irishman. Jardine gave Carlyle some 
German lessons in return for lessons in French. 1 
Carlyle, writing in 1866, describes Jardine as 
"a feeble enough, but pleasant and friendly 
creature, with something of skin-deep geniality 
even, which marked him for ' harmless master- 
ship in the superficial.'' Carlyle made rapid 
progress, and was soon able to read German 
books. These were procured for him from Ger- 
many, by his kind friend Mr. Swan, a merchant 
of Kirkcaldy, who had dealings with Hamburg. 
"I well remember," writes Carlyle in 1866, 
u the arrival of the Schiller Werke sheets at 
Mainhill (and my impatience till the Annan 

1 See Early Letters of Thomas Carlyle (Macmillan and 
Co., 1886), i. 209, 227. 


Bookbinder had done with them) : they had 
come from Llibeck I perceived. . . . This 
Schiller and Archenholtzs Seven-Years War 
were my first really German Books." 

Schiller's high, earnest, and yet simple 
nature, the ideal purity and elevation of his 
works, the free and generous feeling that per- 
vades them, no less than the circumstances of 
his life, attracted Carlyle. But Schiller's range 
was limited, and the longed-for light on the 
mystery of life was not to be obtained from 

Wilhelm Meister he procured soon afterwards 
from the University Library at Edinburgh. In 
Goethe he quickly recognised one who could 
" reveal many highest things to him," and under 
whose teaching his doubts were to melt away, 
leaving clear convictions in their stead. In 
Goethe's works there was as it were a mirror 
which revealed to him the lineaments of his own 
genius. Of all the influences that helped Carlyle 
to an understanding and mastery of himself, 
those exerted by Goethe were the most potent ; 
and he remained for the rest of Carlyle's life 


a teacher whom he reverenced. Writing long 
afterwards of this period, especially of the year 
1826, Carlyle says, "This year I found that I 
had conquered all my scepticisms, agonising 
doubtings, fearful wrestlings with the foul and 
vile and soul -murdering Mud -gods of my 
Epoch ; had escaped, as from a worse than 
Tartarus, with all its Phlegethons and Stygian 
quagmires ; and was emerging, free in spirit, 
into the eternal blue of ether, — where, blessed 
be Heaven, I have, for the spiritual part, ever 
since lived. . . . What my pious joy and grati- 
tude then was, let the pious soul figure. In a 
fine and veritable sense, I, poor, obscure, with- 
out outlook, almost without worldly hope, had 
become independent of the world ; — what was 
death itself, from the world, to what I had come 
through ? I understood well what the old 
Christian people meant by their 'Conversion,' by 
God's Infinite Mercy to them : — I had, in effect, 
gained an immense victory ; and, for a number 
of years, had, in spite of nerves and chagrins, 
a constant inward happiness that was quite 
royal and supreme ; in which all temporal evil 


was transient and insignificant ; and which 
essentially remains with me still, though far 
oftener eclipsed, and lying deeper down, than 
then. Once more, thank Heaven for its highest 
gift. I then felt, and still feel, endlessly indebted 
to Goethe in the business ; he, in his fashion, I 
perceived, had travelled the steep rocky road 
before me, — the first of the moderns." 1 

Carlyle, writing to Miss Welsh, 6th April 
1823, says: Goethe's "feelings are various as 
the hues of Earth and Sky, but his intellect is 
the Sun which illuminates and overrules them 
all. He does not yield himself to his emotions, 
but uses them rather as things for his judgment 
to scrutinise and apply to purpose. I think 
Goethe the only living model of a great writer. 
. . . It is one of my finest day-dreams to see 
him ere I die." And again, 15th April 1824: 
"The English have begun to speak about him 
of late years ; but no light has yet been thrown 
upon him, 'no light but only darkness visible.' 
The syllables Goethe excite an idea as vague and 

1 Carlyle's Reminiscences (Macmillan and Co., 1887), «• 
179, 180. 


monstrous as the word Gorgon or Chimcera" 
The needed light was soon to be thrown upon 
the Poet and his works. 

The first literary use to which Carlyle 
turned his knowledge of German was in the 
writing of his Life of Schiller} This, begun 
in 1822, appeared in the London Magazine in 
1823-24; and was printed, as a separate volume, 
without Carlyle's name, in the spring of 1825. 
In his Preface to the Second Edition (1845), 
he speaks of it disparagingly, as a book he 
would prefer to suppress ; but it is an excellent 
piece of work, written with sympathy, simplicity 
and clear insight ; the best Life of Schiller then 
extant, and, in English at any rate, there has 
been no better since. It was still only half 
finished when he began the translation of 
Meister s Apprenticeship, — a book by no means 
wholly after his own heart, but which from its 
large and genial view of life, from the variety 
of observation of human nature recorded in it, 

1 Carlyle had indeed written an article on Faust before 
this date {New Edinburgh Review, April 1822), but it is a 
comparatively crude production, and Carlyle did not consider it 
worthy of a place in his Collected Works. 


and from the picture it afforded of the author's 
mind, held him with strong attraction. In 
his essay on " Goethe's Works" published just 
after Goethe's death [Foreign Quarterly Review, 
1832), he says : " Many years ago on finishing 
our first perusal of Wilhelm Meister, with a 
very mixed sentiment in other respects, we 
could not but feel that here lay more insight 
into the elements of human nature, and a more 
poetically perfect combining of these, than in all 
the other fictitious literature of our generation." 
Thirty-four years later, in his Reminiscences of 
Edward Irving, he relates how, li Schiller done, 
I began [to translate] Wilhelm Meister, a task 
I liked perhaps rather better, too scanty as my 
knowledge of the element, and even of the 
language still was. Two years before, I had 
at length, after some repulsions, got into the 
heart of Wilhelm Meister, and eagerly read it 
through ; — my sally out, after finishing, along 
the vacant streets of Edinburgh (a windless 
Scotch-misty Sunday night) is still vivid to me : 
'Grand, surely, harmoniously built together, 
far-seeing, wise and true : when, for many 


years, or almost in my life before, have I read 
such a book ? ' Which I was now, really in 
part as a kind of duty, conscientiously translat- 
ing for my countrymen, if they would read it, — 
as a select few of them have ever since kept 
doing. I finished it the next Spring, ..." 

In 1824, when this correspondence began, 
Goethe was seventy-five years old ; a hale and 
vigorous man. His intellectual interests were 
as wide as ever, his curiosity unabated, his 
sympathies unchilled by age. His position 
had long been unique, and he was now at 
the height of his renown. Carlyle's letter 
and his translation of Meisters Apprenticeship 
gave Goethe pleasure, as the expression of 
a genuine admiration coming from a region 
from which he had hitherto received little 
appreciation or even recognition. The letter 
and book were the more welcome as they 
seemed to fall in with a project which Goethe 
had much at heart at this time, namely, the 
bringing about of a better understanding 
amongst nations by means of a universal 


World-Literature, — the establishing of an ex- 
change between different countries of their 
highest mental products; so that all might 
at once share in whatever great intellectual 
work any one nation might produce. Thus 
would mutual understanding be substituted 
for the traditional misconceptions of ignor- 
ance ; a sense of common obligation arise, 
and universal tolerance lead to happier rela- 
tions among the various families of men. In 
this work, to which his first publications con- 
tributed, Carlyle was soon to show himself the 
chief agent between Germany and England, 
and Goethe soon recognised in him the ablest 
of his fellow-workers. 1 

1 The influence of Carlyle's writings from 1823 to 1832 in 
arousing in England an interest in German literature is hardly 
to be over-estimated, whether in its immediate- or remote 
effects. The following is a list of his writings on German 
subjects during these years : — Life of Schiller ; 1823-24 ; Wil- 
helm Meister's Apprenticeship, 1824; German Romance, Jean 
Paul Friedrich Richter, Slate of German Literature, 1827 ; 
Werner, Goethe 1 s Helena, Goethe, Heyne, 1828; German 
Playwrights, Novalis, 1829 ; Jean Pauls Review of Madame 
de StaeTs Allemagne, Jean Paul Fried? ich Richter Again, 
1830; Luther's Psalm, Schiller, The Nibelungen Lied, 
German Literature oj the XIV. and XV. Centuries, Taylor's 


Nearly forty years after Goethe's death, 
Carlyle, recalling the events of his early life, 
wrote as follows of this Correspondence : — " In 
answer to German Romance there had latterly 
come an actual long Letter from Weimar, from 
the Great Goethe's self, who was evidently 
taking interest in me. By and by there arrived, 
at Leith, by Hamburg, a little Fir Box (which 
still exists here in beautifully transfigured 
shape) containing the daintiest collection of 
pretty little gifts and memorials to both of us, — 
the very arrangement and packing of which we 
found to be poetic and a study. Something 
of real romance and glory lay for us in this 
fine Goethe item. That Leith Box (which I 
instantly went down for in person, and tore, 
as it were, almost by main force, through the 
Custom-house and its formalities, in few hours, 
instead of days, and came home with in triumph) 
was the first of several such that followed at 
due intervals, and of a Correspondence (not 

Historic Survey of German Poetry, 1 831 ; Goethe's Portrait, 
Schiller, Goethe, arid Madame de Stael, Death of Goethe, Goethe's 
Works, The Tale {Das Mdhrchen), Novelle, 1832. 


in itself momentous at all, but to us then an 
aethereal and quasi-celestial thing), which lasted 
steadily till Goethe's death. His Letters, ten 
or twelve, perhaps more, are all extant, care- 
fully reposited among my pretiosa, but, for 
many years past, I know not now where. 1 
Pretty gifts of his, — that little steel brooch, 
' never to be worn,' so She had vowed, ' except 
when a man of genius was present,' etc. etc." 2 

The stimulus and encouragement of Goethe's 
sympathy and regard, expressed as they were 
in simple, cordial and delightful modes, were 
invaluable to Carlyle. They came to him 
when he had as yet received no real recogni- 
tion from his own people, whose acknowledg- 
ment of his worth was slowly and grudgingly 
given. For this neglect Goethe's appreciation 
and friendship made amends. They confirmed 
the young writer's faith in himself. Goethe's 

1 The parcel which contained these letters, all carefully 
arranged, was labelled, in Carlyle's hand : " Goethe. Tied 
up so, perhaps about 1834 ; shifted now, without opening (12th 
January 1852), into another receptacle, with an additional 

2 From an unpublished manuscript, written in 1869. 


discriminating eye had discerned what no 
other had discovered — that here was a man 
who rested on an original foundation, and had 
the capacity to develop in himself the essentials 
of what was good and beautiful. 




I. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

4 Myddelton Terrace, 1 Pentonville, 
London, 2.4th June 1824. 

Permit me, Sir, in soliciting your acceptance 
of this Translation 2 to return you my sincere 
thanks for the profit which, in common with 
many millions, I have derived from the Original. 
That you will honour this imperfect copy of 
your work with a perusal I do not hope : but 
the thought that some portion of my existence 

1 Edward Irving's house, to which Carlyle had been wel- 
comed on his first arrival in London early in June. 

2 Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (3 vols. Edinburgh, 


has been connected with that of the Man whose 
intellect and mind I most admire, is pleasing to 
my imagination ; nor will I neglect the present 
opportunity of communing with you even in 
this slight and transitory manner. Four years 
ago, when I read your Faust among the moun- 
tains of my native Scotland, I could not but 
fancy I might one day see you, and pour out 
before you, as before a Father, the woes and 
wanderings of a heart whose mysteries you 
seemed so thoroughly to comprehend, and could 
so beautifully represent. The hope of meeting 
you is still among my dreams. Many saints 
have been expunged from my literary Calendar 
since I first knew you ; but your name still 
stands there, in characters more bright than 
ever. That your life may be long, long spared, 
for the solace and instruction of this and future 
generations, is the earnest prayer of, Sir, your 
most devoted servant, ™ ~ 


P.S. — As the conveyance is uncertain, a line 
signifying that you have received this packet 
would be peculiarly acceptable. 


II. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

[30//* October 1824.] 

Wenn ich, mein werthester Herr, die gliick- 
liche Ankunft Ihrer willkommenen Sendung 
nicht ungesaumt anzeigte, so war die Ursache, 
dass ich nicht einen leeren Empfangschein 
ausstellen, sondern tiber Ihre mir so ehren voile 
Arbeit auch irgend ein geprtiftes Wort beyzu- 
fiigen die Absicht hatte. 

Meine hohen Jahre jedoch, mit so vielen 
unabwendbaren Obliegenheiten immerfort be- 
laden, hinderten mich an einer ruhigen 
Vergleichung Ihrer Bearbeitung mit dem 
Originaltext, welches vielleicht fur mich eine 
schwerere Aufgabe seyn mochte, als fur irgend 
einen dritten der deutschen und englischen 
Lite[ratur] griindlich Befreundeten. Gegen- 
wartig aber da ich eine Gelegenheit sehe 
durch die Herren Grafen Bentinck gegen- 
wartiges Schreiben sicher nach London zu 
bringen, und zugleich beiden Theilen eine ange- 
nehme Bekanntschaft zu verschaffen, so ver- 
saume nicht meinen Dank flir Ihre so innige 
Theilnahme an meinen literarischen Arbeiten 
sowohl, als an den Schicksalen meines Lebens 


hierdurch treulich auszusprechen, und Sie urn 
Fortsetzung derselben auch flir die Zukunft 
angelegentlich zu ersuchen. Vielleicht erfahre 
ich in der Folge noch manches von Ihnen, und 
iibersende zugleich mit diesem eine Reihe von 
Gedichten, welche schwerlich zu Ihnen gekom- 
men sind, von denen ich aber hoffen darf, dass 
sie Ihnen einiges Interesse abgewinnen werden. 
Mit den aufrichtigsten Wiinschen 

J. W. v. Goethe. 1 

Weimar, 30 Octbr. 1824. 


If I did not, my dear Sir, promptly inform 
you of the safe arrival of your welcome present, 
the reason was, that I had not the intention 
of writing a mere acknowledgment, but of add- 
ing thereto some deliberate words concerning 
your work which does me such honour. My 
advanced years, continually burdened with 
many indispensable duties, have, however, 
prevented me from leisurely comparing your 

1 The Italics here, and at the endings of the Goethe 
Letters which follow, mark the words which are in the original 
in Goethe's own handwriting. 


translation with the original ; which might per- 
haps prove a harder task for me than for 
some third person thoroughly at home in 
German and English Literature. But now, 
since I have an opportunity of sending the 
present letter safely to London, by favour of 
the Lords Bentinck, and at the same time of 
bringing about an acquaintance agreeable to 
both parties, I do not delay to express my 
sincere thanks for your hearty sympathy in my 
literary work, as well as in the incidents of 
my life, and to beg earnestly for a continuance 
of it in the future. Perhaps I shall hereafter 
come to know much of you. Meanwhile I send 
together with this a set of poems, which you 
can hardly have seen, but which I venture to 
hope may prove of some interest to you. 1 

With the sincerest good wishes, 
Most truly yours, 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, 30//* October 1824. 

1 " The ■ Reihe von Gedichteft which I can hardly have seen,' 
are a Court Mask by himself, and a printed copy of verses to 
him on his last birthday and cure from sickness, by one Meyer." 
— Note by Carlyle to a copy of this Letter. 


Carlyle writes to Miss Welsh, 20th December 
1824 : 

" The other twilight, the lackey of one Lord Bentinck 
came with a lackey's knock to the door, and delivered me 
a little blue parcel, requiring for it a receipt under my 
hand. I opened it somewhat eagerly, and found two small 
pamphlets with ornamental covers, and — a letter from — 
Goethe ! Conceive my satisfaction : it was almost like a 
message from Fairy Land ; I could scarcely think that 
this was the real hand and signature of that mysterious 
personage, whose name had floated through my fancy, like 
a sort of spell, since boyhood ; whose thoughts had come 
to me in maturer years with almost the impressiveness of 
revelations. But what says the letter? Kind nothings, 
in a simple patriarchal style, extremely to my taste. I will 
copy it, for it is in a character that you cannot read ; and send 
it to you with the original, which you are to keep as the most 
precious of your literary relics. Only the last line and the 
signature are in Goethe's hand : I understand he constantly 
employs an amanuensis. Do you transcribe my copy, and 
your own translation of it, into the blank leaf of that German 
paper, before you lay it by ; that the same sheet may con- 
tain some traces of him whom I most venerate and her 
whom I most love in this strangest of all possible worlds." 

III. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Edinburgh, 21 Comley Bank, 
15M April 1827. 

Respected Sir — It is now above two years 
since Lord Bentinck's Servant delivered me at 


London the packet from Weimar, containing 
your kind Letter and Present ; of both which, 
to say that they were heartily gratifying to me, 
would be saying little ; for I received them and 
keep them with a regard which can belong to 
nothing else. To me they are memorials of 
one whom I never saw, yet whose voice came 
to me from afar, with counsel and help, in my 
utmost need. For if I have been delivered 
from darkness into any measure of light, if I 
know aught of myself and my duties and desti- 
nation, it is to the study of your writings more 
than to any other circumstance that I owe this ; 
it is you more than any other man that I should 
always thank and reverence with the feeling of 
a Disciple to his Master, nay of a Son to his 
spiritual Father. This is no idle compliment, 
but a heartfelt truth ; and humble as it is I 
feel that the knowledge of such truths must be 
more pleasing to you than all other glory. 

The Books, 1 which I here take the liberty to 

1 The Life of Schiller (London, 1825) ; and German 
Romance (4 vols. Edinburgh, 1827). Vol. iv. of this edition 
contains Wilhelm Meistefs Travels. 


offer you, are the poor product of endeavours, 
obstructed by sickness and many other causes ; 
and in themselves little worthy of your accept- 
ance : but perhaps they may find some favour 
for my sake, and interest you likewise as evi- 
dences of the progress of German Literature in 
England. Hitherto it has not been injustice 
but ignorance that has blinded us in this 
matter : at all events a different state of things 
seems approaching ; with respect to your- 
self, it is at hand, or rather has already come. 
This Wanderjahre, which I reckon somewhat 
better translated than its forerunner, I in many 
quarters hear deeply, if not loudly, praised ; and 
even the character with which I have prefaced 
it, appears to excite not objection but partial 
compliance, or at worst, hesitation and inquiry. 
Of the Lehrjahre also I am happy to give 
a much more flattering account than I could 
have anticipated at first. Above a thousand 
copies of the Book are already in the hands of 
the public ; loved also, with more or less insight, 
by all persons of any culture ; and, what it has 
many times interested me to observe, with a 


degree of estimation determined not less by 
the intellectual force than by the moral earnest- 
ness of the reader. One of its warmest ad- 
mirers known to me is a lady of rank, and 
intensely religious. 1 

I may mention further that, some weeks 
ago, a stranger London bookseller applied to 
me to translate your Dichtung und Wahrheit ; 
a proposal which I have perhaps only post- 
poned, not rejected. 

All this warrants me to believe that your 
name and doctrines will ere long be English as 
well as German ; and certainly there are few 
things which I have more satisfaction in con- 
templating than the fact that to this result my 
own efforts have contributed ; that I have 
assisted in conquering for you a new province 
of mental empire ; and for my countrymen a 
new treasure of wisdom which I myself have 
found so precious. One day, it may be, if there 
is any gift in me, I shall send you some Work 
of my own ; and along with it, you will deserve 

1 Mrs. Strachey. See Carlyle's Reminiscences (Macmillan 
and Co., 1887), ii. 102, 123. 


far deeper thanks than those of Hilaria to her 
friendly Artist. 1 

About six months ago I was married : my 
young wife, who sympathises with me in most 
things, agrees also in my admiration of you ; 
and would have me, in her name, beg of you to 
accept this purse, the work, as I can testify, of 
dainty fingers and true love ; that so something, 
which she had handled and which had been hers, 
might be in your hands and be yours. In this 
little point I have engaged that you would gratify 
her. She knows you in your own language ; and 
her first criticism was the following, expressed 
with some surprise: "This Goethe is a greater 
genius than Schiller, though he does not make 
me cry!" A better judgment than many which 
have been pronounced with more formality. 

May I hope to hear, by Post, that this packet 
has arrived safely, and that health and blessings 
are still continued to you ? Frey ist das Herz y 
dock ist der Fuss gebunden. 2 My wishes are 

1 See Wilhelm Meister (Library Edition, 1871), ii. 261, 

2 Compare "Nicht ist der Geist, dock ist der Fuss gebunden? 
— Goethe's Werke (Cotta, 1827), iv. 103. 


joined with those of the world that you may be 
long spared to see good, and do good. — I am 
ever, Respected Sir, your humble servant and 
thankful Scholar, Thqmas Carlyle _ 

If you stand in any relation with Mr. Tieck, 
it would give me pleasure to assure him of my 
esteem. Except him and Richter, who has 
left us, there is no other of these Novelists, 
whom I ought not to beg your pardon for 
placing you beside, even as their King. 

IV. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

[17th May 1827.] 

Dass die angenehme Sendung, begleitet von 
einem freundlichen Schreiben, abgesendet von 
Edinburg den 15 11 April iiber Hamburg, den 
15 11 May bey mir angekommen und mich in 
guter Gesundheit, fUr meine Freunde beschaf- 
tigt, angetroffen hat, solches vermelde eiligst. 
Meinem aufrichtigsten Dank den beiden 
werthen Gatten ftige nur noch hinzu die 
Versicherung, dass nachstens ein Paquet von 


hier, gleichfalls liber Hamburg, abgehen werde, 

meine Theilnahme zu bezeugen und mein 

Andenken zu erneuern. 

Mit den besten und treusten Wiinschen 

mich empfehlend, 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

IV., d. 17 May 1827. 


Let me hastily announce that your welcome 
packet, accompanied by a kind letter, sent from 
Edinburgh on the 15th of April, by way of 
Hamburg, reached me on the 15th of May, 
and found me in good health, busily employed 
for my friends. To my most sincere thanks 
to the dear husband and wife, I add only the 
information that a packet will speedily be de- 
spatched hence, also by way of Hamburg, in 
testimony of my sympathetic interest in you, 
and to recall me to your remembrance. 

Commending myself to you, with best and 

truest wishes, j wr r 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, 17th May 1827. 


Carlyle, writing to his brother John on the 4th 
June, sends him a copy of this Letter, and says : 

" To-day I had such a packet of letters all in a rush ! 
A letter from Mrs. Montagu j and enclosed in the same 
frank a sublime note from Edward Irving, full of praise 
and thanks expressed in the most wondrous dialect ; and 
last or rather first, for that was the paper we pounced on 
most eagerly, a dainty little letter from — Weimar ! The 
good man has Knighted me too ! x Did you ever see so 
polite, true-hearted, altogether graceful a note? At the 
same time there is a naive brevity in it which, in admiring, 
almost makes me laugh. Read and wonder. 

And now we are all impatient to know what that 
paquet that is coming ' over Hamburg ' will bring us. 
You shall know so soon as the new-made Knight or 
Baronet receives it." 

V. — Goethe to Carlyle. 2 

[20M July 1827.] 

In einem Schreiben vom 15 May, 3 welches 
ich mit der Post absendete und Sie hoffentlich 
zu rechter Zeit werden erhalten haben, vermel- 
dete ich, wie viel Vergntigen mir Ihre Sendung 

1 Goethe's letter was addressed to " Sir " Thomas Carlyle. 

2 Portions of this Letter, with slight alterations, are printed 
in Goethe's Works ; see Life ofFriedrich Schiller, Nachgelassene 
Werke (Cotta, 1833), vi. 237; and German Romance, ibid. 

3 See Letter IV., dated " 1 7th " May. 


gebracht. Sie fand mich auf dem Lande, wo 
ich sie mit mehrerer Ruhe betrachten und 
geniessen konnte. Gegenwartig sehe ich mich 
in dem Stande, auch ein Packet an Sie 
abzuschicken mit dem Wunsche freundlicher 

Lassen Sie mich vorerst, mein Theuerster, 
von Ihrer Biographie Schillers das Beste sagen : 
sie ist merkwlirdig, indem sie ein genaues 
Studium der Vorfalle seines Lebens beweist, so 
wie denn auch das Studium seiner Werke und 
eine innige Theilnahme an denselben daraus 
hervorgeht. Bewundernswlirdig ist es wie Sie 
sich auf diese Weise eine geniigende Einsicht 
in den Character und das hohe Verdienstliche 
dieses Mannes verschafft, so klar und so 
gehorig als es kaum aus der Feme zu erwarten 

Hier bewahrheitet sich jedoch ein altes 
Wort : " der gute Wille hilft zu vollkommner 
Kenntniss." Denn gerade dass der Schott- 
lander den deutschen Mann mit Wohlwollen 
anerkennt, ihn verehrt und liebt, dadurch wird 
er dessen treffliche Eigenschaften am sichersten 


gewahr, dadurch erhebt er sich zu einer Klarheit 
zu der sogar Landsleute des Trefflichen in 
friiheren Tagen nicht gelangen konnten ; denn 
die Mitlebenden werden an vorzliglichen Men- 
schen gar leicht irre ; das Besondere der 
Person stort sie, das laufende bewegliche 
Leben verrlickt ihre Standpunkte und hindert 
das Kennen und Anerkennen eines solchen 

Dieser aber war von so ausserordentlicher 
Art, dass der Biograph die Idee eines vorztig- 
lichen Mannes vor Augen halten und sie durch 
individuelle Schicksale und Leistungen durch- 
ftihren konnte, und sein Tagewerk dergestalt 
vollbracht sah. 

Die vor den German Romance mitgetheilten 
Notizen tiber das Leben Musaus', Hoffmanns, 
Richters, etc. kann man in ihrer Art gleichfalls 
mit Beyfall aufnehmen ; sie sind mit Sorgfalt 
gesammelt, kiirzlich dargestellt und geben von 
eines jeden Autors individuellem Character 
und der Einwirkung desselben auf seine 
Schriften genugsame Vorkenntniss. 

Durchaus beweist Herr Carlyle eine ruhige 


klare Theilnahme an dem deutschen poetisch- 
literarischen Beginnen ; er giebt sich hin an 
das eigenthumliche Bestreben der Nation, er 
lasst den Einzelnen gelten, jeden an seiner 

Sey mir nun erlaubt, allgemeine Betrach- 
tungen hinzuzufugen, welche ich langst bey 
mir im Stillen hege und die mir bey den 
vorliegenden Arbeiten abermals frisch aufgeregt 
worden : 

Offenbar ist das Bestreben der besten 
Dichter und asthetischen Schriftsteller aller 
Nationen schon seit geraumer Zeit auf das 
allgemein Menschliche gerichtet. In jedem 
Besondern, es sey nun historisch, mytholo- 
gisch, fabelhaft, mehr oder weniger willkuhrlich 
ersonnen, wird man durch Nationalist und 
Personlichkeit hindurch jenes Allgemeine immer 
mehr durchleuchten und durchschimmern sehn. 

Da nun auch im practischen Lebensgange 
ein gleiches obwaltet und durch alles Irdisch- 
Rohe, Wilde, Grausame, Falsche, Eigen- 
nlitzige, Liigenhafte sich durchschlingt, und 
uberall einige Milde zu verbreiten trachtet, so 


ist zwar nicht zu hoffen, dass ein allgemeiner 
Friede dadurch sich einleite, aber doch dass 
der unvermeidliche Streit nach und nach 
lasslicher werde, der Krieg weniger grausam, 
der Sieg weniger ubermuthig. 

Was nun in den Dichtungen aller Nationen 
hierauf hindeutet und hinwirkt, dies ist es was 
die Uebrigen sich anzueignen haben. Die 
Besonderheiten einer jeden muss man kennen 
lernen, um sie ihr zu lassen, um gerade dadurch 
mit ihr zu verkehren ; denn die Eigenheiten 
einer Nation sind wie ihre Sprache und ihre 
Mtinzsorten, sie erleichtern den Verkehr, ja sie 
machen ihn erst vollkommen moglich. 

Verzeihen Sie mir, mein Werthester, diese 
vielleicht nicht ganz zusammenhangenden, noch 
alsbald zu uberschauenden Aeusserungen ; sie 
sind geschopft aus dem Ocean der Betrachtun- 
gen, der um einen jeden Denkenden mit den 
Jahren immer mehr anschwillt. Lassen Sie 
mich noch Einiges hinzufugen, welches ich bey 
einer andern Gelegenheit niederschrieb, das 
sich jedoch hauptsachlich auf Ihr Geschafft 
unmittelbar beziehen lasst : 


Eine wahrhaft allgemeine Duldung wird am 
sichersten erreicht, wenn man das Besondere 
der einzelnen Menschen und Volkerschaften 
auf sich beruhen lasst, bey der Ueberzeugung 
jedoch festhalt, dass das wahrhaft Verdienstliche 
sich dadurch auszeichnet, dass es der ganzen 
Menschheit angehort. Zu einer solchen Ver- 
mittlung und wechselseitigen Anerkennung 
tragen die Deutschen seit langer Zeit schon bey. 

Wer die deutsche Sprache versteht und 
studirt befindet sich auf dem Markte wo alle 
Nationen ihre Waaren anbieten, er spielt den 
Dolmetscher indem er sich selbst bereichert. 

Und so ist jeder Uebersetzer anzusehen, 
dass er sich als Vermittler dieses allgemein 
geistigen Handels bemliht, und den Wechsel- 
tausch zu befordern sich zum Geschafft macht. 
Denn, was man auch von der Unzulanglichkeit 
des Uebersetzens sagen mag, so ist und bleibt 
es doch eins der wichtigsten und wurdigsten 
GeschafTte in dem allgemeinen Weltwesen. 

Der Koran sagt : " Gott hat jedem Volke 
einen Propheten gegeben in seiner eignen 
Sprache." So ist jeder Uebersetzer ein Pro- 


phet seinem Volke. Luthers Bibeliibersetzung 
hat die grossten Wirkungen hervorgebracht, 
wenn schon die Critik daran bis auf den heutigen 
Tag immerfort bedingt und makelt. Und was 
ist denn das ganze ungeheure Geschafft der 
Bibelgesellschaft, als das Evangelium einem 
jeden Volke in seiner eignen Sprache zu ver- 

Hier lassen Sie mich schliessen, wo man ins 
Unendliche fortfahren konnte, und erfreuen Sie 
mich bald mit einiger Erwiederung, wodurch 
ich Nachricht erhalte, dass gegenwartige Sen- 
dung zu Ihnen gekommen ist. 

Zum Schlusse lassen Sie mich denn auch 
Ihre Hebe Gattin begriissen, fur die ich einige 
Kleinigkeiten, als Erwiederung ihrer anmuthi- 
gen Gabe, beyzulegen mir die Freude mache. 
Moge Ihnen ein gllickliches Zusammenleben 
viele Jahre bescheert seyn. 

Nach allem diesen finde ich mich doch noch 
angeregt, Einiges hinzuzufugen : Moge Herr 
Carlyle alles Obige freundlich aufnehmen und 
durch anhaltende Betrachtung in ein Gesprach 
verwandeln, damit es ihm zu Muthe werde, 



als wenn wir personlich einander gegenliber 

Hab' ich ihm ja sogar noch flir die Bemli- 
hung zu danken, die er an meine Arbeiten 
gewendet hat, flir den guten und wohlwollenden 
Sinn mit dem er von meiner Personlichkeit und 
meinen Lebensereignissen zu sprechen geneigt 
war. In dieser Ueberzeugung darf ich mich 
denn auch zum Voraus freuen, dass kunftighin, 
wenn noch mehrere von meinen Arbeiten ihm 
bekannt werden, besonders auch, wenn meine 
Correspondenz mit Schillern erscheinen wird, 
er weder von diesem Freunde noch von mir 
seine Meinung andern, sondern sie vielmehr 
durch manches Besondere noch mehr bestatigt 
finden wird. 

Das Beste herzlich wiinschend, 

treu thetlnehmendy 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, d. 20 Jul. 1827. 

This letter was accompanied by the following 
verses, as well as by a translation of the Scottish 
Ballad " The Barring of the Door " {Gutman und 
Gutweiby Nachgelassene Werke, vii. 84). 




Matt und beschwerlich, 
Wandernd ermiidigt, 
Klimmt er gefahrlich 
Nimmer befriedigt ; 
Felsen ersteigt er 
Wie es die Kraft erlaubt, 
Endlich erreicht er 
Gipfel und Bergeshaupt. 

Hat er muhselig 
Also den Tag vollbracht, 
Nun war' es thorig 
Hatt' er darauf noch Acht. 
Froh ist's unsaglich 
Sitzendem hier, 
Athmend behaglich 
An Geishirtens Thiir. 

Speis' ich und trinke nun 
Wie es vorhanden, 
Sonne sie sinket nun 
Allen den Landen ; 
Schmeckt es heut Abend 
Niemand wie mir, 
Sitzend mich labend 
An Geishirtens Thiir. 1 

[Fainting and heavily, 
Weary with wandering, 
In peril he climbs on 
Never knowing content ; 
Scaling the rocky heights 
So as his strength permits, 
At last he attains to 
The peak and the mountain-top. 

Thus having painfully 
The day's task completed, 
Now were it foolishness 
Still to pay heed to it. 
'Tis joyous beyond words 
In quiet to sit here, 
Reposing in gladness 
By the door of the goatherd. 

Now do I eat and drink 

As it is offered me, 

And the sun sinketh down 

Slowly o'er all the lands ; 

Delights in this evening 

No one as I do, 

As I sit here refreshed 

By the door of the goatherd.] 


In a letter of 15th May, which I despatched 
by Post, and which I hope will have reached you 

1 Printed in the Nachgelassene Werke, vii. 82. 


in due time, I informed you how much pleasure 
your present had brought me. It found me in 
the country where I could examine and enjoy 
it in greater quiet. I am now, in my turn, 
about to send you a packet, of which I request 
your friendly acceptance. 

Let me, first of all, my dear Sir, commend 
most highly your Biography of Schiller. It is 
remarkable for the close study it shows of the 
incidents of his life, whilst it also manifests a 
sympathetic study of his works. The accurate in- 
sight into the character and distinguished merit 
of this man, which you have thus acquired is 
really admirable, and so clear and just as was 
hardly to have been expected from a foreigner. 

In this an old saying is verified : " Love 
helps to perfect knowledge." For precisely 
because the Scotchman regards the German 
with kindliness, and honours and loves him, 
does he recognise most surely his admirable 
qualities, and thus he rises to a clearness of 
view, to which even the great man's com- 
patriots could not in earlier days attain. For 
their contemporaries very easily fall into error 


concerning eminent men ; — personal peculiarities 
disturb them, the changeful current of life dis- 
places their points of view, and hinders their 
knowledge and recognition of such men. 

Schiller, however, was of so exceptional a 
nature, that his Biographer had but to keep be- 
fore his eyes the ideal of a pre-eminent man, and 
by maintaining it to the end, through individual 
fortunes and actions, see his task fulfilled. 

The notices of the lives of Musaus, Hoffman, 
and Richter, prefixed to German Romance, are 
also in their kind to be commended. They are 
compiled with care, set forth concisely, and 
give sufficient information concerning the in- 
dividual character of each author, and of its 
effect upon his writings. 

Mr. Carlyle shows throughout a clear, calm 
sympathy with the endeavours of poetic litera- 
ture in Germany, and while he dwells on 
what is specially characteristic of national 
tendencies he gives due credit to each in- 
dividual in his own place. 

Let me add some general considerations, 
which I have long cherished in silence, and 


which have been stirred up afresh in me by the 
present works. 

It is obvious that the efforts of the best 
poets and aesthetic writers of all nations have 
now for some time been directed towards what 
is universal in humanity. In each special field, 
whether in history, mythology, or fiction, more 
or less arbitrarily conceived, one sees the traits 
which are universal always more clearly re- 
vealed and illumining what is merely national 
and personal. 

Though something of the same sort prevails 
now also in practical life, pervading all that 
is earthy, crude, wild, cruel, false, selfish, and 
treacherous, and striving to diffuse everywhere 
some gentleness, we cannot indeed hope that 
universal peace is being ushered in thereby, 
but only that inevitable strife will be gradually 
more restrained, war will become less cruel, and 
victory less insolent. 

Whatever in the poetry of any nation tends 
to this and contributes to it, the others should 
endeavour to appropriate. The peculiarities 
of each nation must be learned, and allowance 


made for them, in order by these very means 
to hold intercourse with it ; for the special 
characteristics of a nation are like its language 
and its currency : they facilitate intercourse, 
nay they first make it completely possible. 

Pardon me, my dear Sir, for these remarks, 
which are perhaps not altogether coherent, nor 
to be comprehended at once; they are drawn 
from that ocean of meditations which, as years 
advance, swells and evermore deepens around 
every thinking person. Allow me to add yet 
something more, which I wrote on another 
occasion, but which may be immediately applied 
to your present pursuits : 

A genuine, universal tolerance is most surely 
attained, if we do not quarrel with the pecu- 
liar characteristics of individual men and races, 
but only hold fast the conviction, that what is 
truly excellent is distinguished by its belonging 
to all mankind. To such intercourse and mutual 
recognition, the German people have long con- 

Whoever understands and studies German 
finds himself in the market, where all nations 


offer their wares ; he plays the interpreter, while 
he enriches himself. 

And thus every translator is to be regarded 
as a middle-man in this universal spiritual com- 
merce, and as making it his business to promote 
this exchange : for say what we may of the in- 
sufficiency of translation, yet the work is and 
will always be one of the weightiest and worthiest 
affairs in the general concerns of the world. 

The Koran says : " God has given to each 
people a prophet in its own tongue ! " Thus each 
translator is a prophet to his people. Luther's 
translation of the Bible has produced the greatest 
results, though criticism gives it qualified praise, 
and picks faults in it, even to the present day. 
What indeed is the whole enormous business 
of the Bible Society, but to make known the 
Gospel to all people in their own tongue ? 

Here, though one might run on endlessly on 
this topic, let me close. Gratify me soon with 
some reply, that I may know the present packet 
has reached you. In conclusion, permit me also 
to greet your dear wife, for whom I give myself 
the pleasure of adding some trifles in return for 


her charming gift. May a happy life together 
be your portion for many years. 

After all this I still find myself prompted to 
add a word. May Mr. Carlyle take in friendly 
part what I have written above, and by con- 
tinued musing convert it into a dialogue, so 
that it may seem to him as if we stood face to 
face in person. 

I have indeed still to thank him for the pains 
he has expended on my Works ; for the good 
and kindly feeling with which he has been 
pleased to speak of me personally and of the 
incidents of my life. Assured of this feeling, I 
venture to congratulate myself on the anticipa- 
tion that hereafter, if other Works of mine 
should become known to him, especially if my 
Correspondence with Schiller should appear, he 
will not change his opinion either of my friend 
or of me, but rather by many particulars will 
find it still further confirmed. 

With every cordial good wish, 
in faithful sympathy, 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, 20th July 1827. 


On the 1 1 th August Carlyle wrote to his mother 
that one day not long before, 

" News came directly after breakfast that the packet from 
Goethe had arrived in Leith ! Without delay I proceeded 
thither ; found a little box carefully overlapped in waxcloth, 
and directed to me. After infinite wranglings and per- 
plexed misdirected higglings I succeeded in rescuing the 
precious packet from the fangs of the Custom-house sharks, 
and in the afternoon it was safely deposited in our own 
little parlour. The daintiest boxie you ever saw ! so care- 
fully packed, so neatly and tastefully contrived in every- 
thing. There was a copy of Goethe's poems in five beauti- 
ful little volumes 'for the valued J7iarriage-pair Carlyle ;' 
two other little books for myself; then two medals, one of 
Goethe himself, and another of his father and mother ; and 
lastly the prettiest wrought-iron necklace with a little figure 
of the poet's face set in gold ' for my dear Spouse,' and a 
most dashing pocket-book for me. In the box containing 
the necklace, and in each pocket of the pocket-book were 
cards, each with a verse of poetry on it in the old master's 
own hand ; all these I will translate to you by and by, as 
well as the long letter which lay at the bottom of all, one 
of the kindest and gravest epistles I ever read. He praises 
me for the Life of Schiller and the others ; asks me to send 
him some account of ' my own previous history,' etc. etc. j 
in short it was all extremely graceful, affectionate and 
patriarchal : you may conceive how much it pleased us. I 
believe a Ribbon with the order of the Garter would scarcely 
have flattered either of us more." 

On one of the cards in the pocket-book for 
Carlyle was written : — - 


Herr Carlyle wlirde mir ein besonderes 

Vergniigen machen wenn er mir von seinem 

bisherigen Lebensgange einige Nachrichten 

geben wollte. 


W., d. 20 Jul. 1827. 

Mr. Carlyle would do me a special favour 
if he would give me some particulars of his 
previous history. 1 

On another card : — 

Augenblicklich aufzuwarten 

Schicken Freunde solche Karten ; 

Diesmal aber heisst's nicht gern : 

Euer Freund ist weit und fern. 2 

Weimar, d. 20 Jul. 1827. 

A friend sends up a card like this 
When instant visit he will pay ; 
But this time things are much amiss : 
Your friend, alas, is far away. 

1 Goethe writes to Zelter, 17th July 1827: "Pray ask 
of the English literary friends in your neighbourhood, whether 
anything is known to them respecting Thomas Carlyle of 
Edinburgh, who, in a notable way, is doing much for German 
Literature." Zelter replies that he has not been able to learn 
anything on the subject. 

2 This and the verse which follows on the next page are 
printed in the Nachgelassene Werke, vii. 206, 207 ; and are 
both there inscribed " An Madame C. . . . " 


And on the third card, enclosed in a box contain- 
ing the necklace for Mrs. Carlyle 1 : — 

Wirst du in den Spiegel blicken 
Und vor deinen heitern Blicken 
Dich die ernste Zierde schmiicken, 
Denke dass nichts besser schmiickt, 
Als wenn man den Freund begluckt. 2 


W., d. 20 Jul. 1827. 

VI. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Edinburgh, 2 1 Comley Bank, 
20/^ Attgust 1827. 

Dear and Honoured Sir — I have now the 
pleasure of signifying that your kind purpose 
has been accomplished. Your note of the 1 7th 
May reached us in two weeks, by the Post ; 
and the much-longed-for Packet, which it had 
warned us to expect, has at length, duly for- 
warded and announced by Messrs. Parish and 

1 It is a black necklace of delicate wrought iron (such as 
German ladies, having given up their jewels, were in the habit of 
wearing after the battle of Jena) ; a pendant is attached to it, with 
a head of Goethe cut in coloured glass, and with a gold setting. 

2 Carlyle has roughly translated the verse thus : — 

Wilt thou, at thy mirror, smiling place 

On a neck so light, so grave a toy, 

Think that nought so well the Wife can grace, 

As when wedded Wife brings Husband joy. 


Co. of Hamburg, arrived here in safety, on the 
ninth of this month. 

If the best return for such gifts is the delight 
they are enjoyed with, I may say that you are 
not unrepaid ; for no Royal present could have 
gratified us more. These books with their 
Inscriptions, 1 the Autographs and tasteful orna- 
ments, will be precious in other generations than 
ours. Of the Necklace in particular I am bound 
to mention that it is reposited among the most 
valued jewels, and set apart " for great occa- 
sions " as an ernste Zierde, fit only to be worn 
before Poets and intellectual men. Accept our 
heartiest thanks for such friendly memorials of 
a relation, which, faint as it is, we must always 
regard as the most estimable of our life. 

This little drawing-room may now be said 
to be full of you. My translations from your 
Works already stood, in fair binding, in the 
Book-case, and portraits of you lay in port- 

1 The first volume of Goet/ie's Werke bears the inscription in 
his own hand : " Dem werthen Ehpaare Carlisle [sic] fur freund- 
liche Theilnahme schonstens danckbar, Goethe. Weimar, May, 
1827 ;" and Kunst unci ' Alterthum (vol. vi., \st Heft): "Herren 
Carlisle zu freundlichem Andenken, Goethe " (same date). 


folios ; during our late absence in the country, 
some good genius, to prepare a happy surprise 
for us, had hung up, in the best framing and 
light, a larger picture of you, which we under- 
stand to be the best resemblance : and now 
your Medals lie on the mantelpiece ; your 
books, in their silk paper covers, have displaced 
even Tasso's Gerusalemme ; and from more 
secret recesses your handwriting can be ex- 
hibited to favoured friends. It is thus that 
good men may raise for themselves a little 
sanctuary in houses and hearts that lie far 
away. The tolerance, the kindness with which 
you treat my labours in German literature, must 
not mislead me into vanity ; but encourage me 
to new effort in appropriating what is Beautiful 
and True, wheresoever and howsoever it is to 
be found. If "love " does indeed "help to 
perfect knowledge," I may hope in time coming 
to gain better insight both into Schiller and his 
Friend ; for the love of such men lies deep in the 
heart, and wedded to all that is worthy there. 

For your ideas on the tendency of modern 
poetry to promote a freer spiritual intercourse 


among nations, I must also thank you : so far as I 
have yet seized their full import, they command 
my entire assent ; nay, perhaps express for me 
much which I might otherwise have wanted 
words for. When I try to convert these written 
observations " into a Dialogue," it is as if one of 
the Three i were speaking ; and speaking not to 
the world but/or it, to me in particular. Helena, 
also, in that beautiful new edition of your poems, 
I have not failed to read; a bright mystic vision, 
with its Classic earnestness and Gothic splen- 
dour ; but I must read it again and again before 
its whole manifold significance become clear to 
me. Could mere human prayers avail against 
an aesthetic necessity, Faust were surely made 
triumphant both over the Fiend and himself, and 
this by the readiest means ; the one would go 
to Heaven, and the other back to his native 
Pit : for there is no tragic hero whom one pities 
more deeply than Faust. 

You are kind enough to inquire about my 
bygone life. With what readiness could I 
speak to you of it, how often have I longed to 

1 The " Three Reverences," in Meister's Travels. 


pour out the whole history before you ! As it 
is, your Works have been a mirror to me ; un- 
asked and unhoped-for, your wisdom has coun- 
selled me ; and so peace and health of Soul 
have visited me from afar. For I was once an 
Unbeliever, not in Religion only, but in all the 
Mercy and Beauty of which it is the Symbol ; 
storm-tossed in my own imaginations ; a man 
divided from men ; exasperated, wretched, 
driven almost to despair ; so that Faust's wild 
curse seemed the only fit greeting for human life ; 
and his passionate Fluch v or alien der Geduld! 1 
was spoken from my very inmost heart. But 
now, thank Heaven, all this is altered : without 
change of external circumstances, solely by the 
new light which rose upon me, I attained to new 
thoughts, and a composure which I should once 
have considered as impossible. And now, under 
happier omens, though the bodily health which I 
lost in these struggles has never been and may 
never be restored to me, I look forward with cheer- 
fulness to a life spent in Literature, with such for- 
tune and such strength as may be granted me ; 

1 Faust, Part I. Scene 4. 


hoping little and fearing little from the world ; 
having learned that what I once called Happi- 
ness is not only not to be attained on Earth, but 
not even to be desired. No wonder I should love 
the wise and worthy men by whose instructions 
so blessed a result has been brought about. For 
these men, too, there can be no reward like that 
consciousness that in distant countries and times 
the hearts of their fellow-men will yearn towards 
them with gratitude and veneration, and those 
that are wandering in darkness turn towards 
them as to loadstars guiding into a secure home. 

I shall still hope to hear from you, and again 
to write to you, and always acknowledge you 
as my Teacher and Benefactor. May all good 
be long continued to you, for your own sake and 
that of Mankind ! 

With the truest reverence I subscribe myself, 
worthy Sir, your grateful Friend and Servant, 

Thomas Carlyle. 

[In Mrs. Carlyle's hand.] 
My heartfelt thanks to the Poet for his 
graceful gift, which I prize more than a neck- 
lace of diamonds and kiss with truest regard. 

J. W. Carlyle. 


VII. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

\\st January 1828.] 

In diesen Tagen, mein Theuerster, geht 
abermals eine Sendung liber Hamburg ; sie 
enthalt die zweite Lieferung meiner Werke, 
worin Sie nichts Neues finden werden, der ich 
aber die alte Gunst auf's Frische wieder zuzu- 
wenden bitte. Dabey liegen flinf Bande 
Kunst und Alterthum, welche schwerlich 
vollstandig in Ihren Handen sind ; auch das 
i e - Heft des sechsten Bandes. In dieser 
Zeitschrift, welche seit 1818 langsam vor- 
schreitet, finden Sie manches was fur Sie und 
wohl auch fur Ihre Nation interessant ist. Das 
Foreign Quarterly Review, wo von zwei Bande 
in meinen Handen sind, wird solche Notizen 
wohl aufnehmen. 

In das Kastchen lege noch einige literarisch- 
sittliche Bemerkungen, und fiige nur die An- 
frage wegen eines einzigen Punktes, der mich 
besonders interessirt, hier bey ; sie betrifft 
Herrn Des Voeux ; dessen Uebersetzung des 


Tasso 1 nun auch wohl in Ihren Handen ist. 
Er verwendete seinen hiesigen Aufenthalt 
leidenschaftlich auf das Studium einer ihm 
vorerst nicht gelaufigen Sprache und auf ein 
sorgfaltiges Uebertragen gedachten Dramas. 
Er machte mir durch eine gedruckte Copie seines 
Manuscriptes die Bequemlichkeit, seine vorruck- 
ende Arbeit nach und nach durchzusehen, wobey 
ich freylich nichts wirken konnte, als zu beur- 
theilen ob die Uebersetzung, in so fern ich eng- 
lisch lese, mit dem Sinn, den ich in meine Zeilen 
zu legen gedachte, ubereinstimmend zu finden 
ware. Und da will ich gern gestehen, dass, 
nach einiger Uebereinkunft zu gewissen Aband- 
erungen, ich nichts mehr zu erinnern wusste was 
mir fur das Verstandniss meines Werkes in einer 
fremden Sprache ware hinderlich gewesen. Nun 
aber mocht' ich von Ihnen wissen, in wiefern 
dieser Tasso als Englisch gel ten kann. Sie wer- 
den mich hbchlich verbinden, wenn Sie mich 
hieruber aufklaren und erleuchten ; denn eben 
diese Bezlige vom Originale zur Uebersetzung 
sind es ja, welche die Verhaltnisse von Nation 

1 See infra, p. 87, n. 


zu Nation am allerdeutlichsten aussprechen, und 
die man zu Forderung der vor- und obwaltenden 
allgemeinen Weltliteratur vorzliglich zu kennen 
und zu beurtheilen hat. 

An Ihre theure Gattin werden Sie mit 
meinen schonsten Griissen das Addressirte 
gefallig abgeben. 

Ferner habe ich sechs Medaillen beigelegt, 
drei Weimarische, drei Genfer, wovon ich zwey 
Herrn Walter Scott mit meinen verbindlich- 
sten Griissen einzuhandigen, die andern aber 
an Wohlwollende zu vertheilen bitte. 

Da ich die hier iibrigen Seiten nicht leer 
abschicken mochte, so ftige noch einige vor- 
laufige Betrachtungen liber das Foreign Quar- 
terly Review hier bey : 

In diesem gleich vom Anfang solid und 
wtirdig erscheinendem Werke finde ich mehrere 
Aufsatze liber deutsche Literatur : Ernst 
Sckulze, Hoffmann und unser Theater; ich 
glaube darin den Edinburger Freund zu 
erkennen, denn es ware doch wunderbar, wenn 
das alte Britannien ein paar Menachmen her- 
vorgebracht haben sollte, welche gleich ruhig, 


heiter, sinnig, sittig, grundlich und umsichtig, 
klar und ausfuhrlich, und was dergleichen gute 
Eigenschaften sich noch mehr anschliessen, eine 
fremde, geographisch-moralisch, und asthetisch 
abstehende, Mittellands-Cultur liebevoll darstel- 
len konnten und mochten. Auch die ubrigen 
Recensionen, in so fern ich sie gelesen habe, 
finde ich auf einem soliden Vaterlandsgrunde 
mit Einsicht, Umsicht und Massigung geschrie- 
ben. Und wenn ich z. B. Dupin's weltbiirger- 
liche Arbeiten sehr hoch schatze, so waren mir 
doch die Bemerkungen des Referenten, 1 S. 496, 
Vol. I. sehr willkommen. Das Gleiche gilt von 
Manchem was bey Gelegenheit der Religions- 
handel in Schlesien geaussert wird. In dem 
nachsten Stucke von Kunst und Alterthum 
denke ich mich iiber diese Beriihrungen aus 
der Feme freundlich zu erklaren, und eine 
solche wechselseitige Behandlung meinen aus- 
landischen und innlandischen Freunden bestens 
zu empfehlen, indem ich das Testament Johan- 
nis als das meinige schliesslich ausspreche und 
als den Inhalt aller Weisheit einscharfe : Kind- 
1 See infra, p. 44, n. 


lein liebt euch / wobey ich wohl hoffen darf, 
dass dieses Wort meinen Zeitgenossen nicht so 
seltsam vorkommen werde als den Schlilern 
des Evangelisten, die ganz andere hohere 
Offenbarungen erwarteten. 

Das Weitere mit der in diesen Tagen 
abgehenden Sendung. 

Treu verbtmden, 

J, W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, den 1 Januar 1828. 

Konnen Sie mir vertrauen wer den Aufsatz : 
State of German Literature im Edinburgh 
Review, No. XCIL, October 1827, geschrieben 
hat ? Hier glaubt man, es sey Herr Lockhart, 
Herrn W. Scott's Schwiegersohn. Ernst und 
Wohlwollen sind gleich verehrungswerth. 


About this time, my very dear Sir, another 
package goes to you, via Hamburg. It con- 
tains the second Section of my Works, 1 in which 

1 An edition of all Goethe's writings designated as the " com- 
plete and final" one was commenced in 1827 and published 


you will find nothing new, but on which I beg 
you to bestow afresh the old favour. There 
are also five volumes of Kunst und Alterthum, 
your copy of which is probably incomplete, as 
well as the first part of vol. vi. In this Journal, 
which has proceeded slowly since 181 8, you 
will find many a thing of interest for yourself, 
and also, it may be, for your country. The 
Foreign Quarterly Review, two volumes of 
which are in my hands, will perhaps accept 
notices concerning these matters. 

I am also sending in the little box some 
further remarks of an ethical-literary character ; 
and I only add on this occasion an inquiry on a 
special point which particularly interests me. It 
concerns Mr. Des Voeux, whose Translation of 
Tasso you probably now have. 1 He employed 
his stay here in the zealous study of a language 
previously unfamiliar to him, and in carefully 
translating the Drama referred to. By means 
of a printed copy of his manuscript he provided 

in Lieferungs, Sections or Deliveries, of five volumes from half 
year to half year, till its completion in 1831. See Carlyle's 
"Helena," Miscellanies (Library edition, 1869), vol. i. 172. 
1 See infra, p. 87, ;/. 


me with an easy way of revising his work, by 
degrees, as it advanced. I could indeed con- 
tribute nothing to it except an opinion, so far as 
my understanding of English allowed, whether 
the translation expressed the meaning that I 
intended to convey in my lines. And I have 
pleasure in stating that after certain changes 
were agreed upon, I observed nothing further 
which, in my opinion, was likely to interfere 
with the understanding of my work in a foreign 
tongue. But now I wish to know from you 
what may be the merit of this Tasso as an 
English Translation ? It will greatly oblige 
me if you will inform and enlighten me as to 
this, because it is precisely the bearing of an 
original to a translation, which most clearly 
indicates the relations of nation to nation, and 
which one must especially know and estimate 
for the furtherance of the prevailing, pre- 
dominant and universal World-literature. 

Will you be so good as to give your dear 
wife, with my kindest regards, the parcel ad- 
dressed to her ? 


I send also six medals, three struck at 
Weimar and three at Geneva, two of which 
please present to Sir Walter Scott, with my 
best regards, and as to the others, distribute 
them to my well-wishers. 

That I may not send the rest of this sheet 
empty, I add some cursory remarks on the 
Foreign Quarterly Review. In this work, 
which from its very beginning seemed solid 
and valuable, I find several essays on German 
Literature ; on Ernst Schulze> Hoffmann, and 
on our Stage. I think I discern in them my 
Edinburgh friend, for it would be truly wonder- 
ful if old Britain should have produced a pair 
of Mencechmi, alike able and ready to de- 
scribe in a friendly and sympathetic spirit a 
foreign Continental culture, remote geographi- 
cally, morally, and aesthetically from their own, 
in a tone at once calm and clear, with judgment, 
just moral sentiment, thoroughness, fulness, 
and such other like good qualities as might be 
added to these. The other articles, so far as I 
have read them, I find written on a solid basis 
of national sentiment, with insight, breadth of 


view and moderation. And though I value 
very highly, for example, Dupin's cosmopolitan 
works, yet the remarks of the Reviewer, 1 on p. 
496, vol. i„ were very welcome to me. The same 
is true of much of what is said in regard to re- 
ligious affairs in Silesia. In the next number 
of Kunst und A Iter t hum I propose to make 
friendly mention of this contact from afar, and 
strongly to recommend to my friends, abroad and 
at home, such a reciprocal procedure ; accept- 
ing finally as my own, and enjoining as the 
essence of all wisdom, the Testament of St. 
John : Little children, love one another ! and I 
may surely hope that this saying will not appear 
so strange to my contemporaries as it did to the 
disciples of the Evangelist, who were expect- 
ing far other and loftier revelations. 

More with the parcel to be despatched in a 
day or two. 

Your truly attached, 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, 1st January 1828. - 

1 Dr. Ant. Todd Thomson, in a paper on Les Forces Pro- 
ductives et Commerciales de la France, par Dupin. 


Can you tell me in confidence who wrote 
the article in the Edinburgh Review, No. 
XCIL, October 1827, on the State of Ger- 
man Literature ? Here, people believe it 
was Mr. Lockhart, Sir W. Scott's son-in-law. 
Its earnestness and good feeling are alike 

The article was by Carlyle, — his second con- 
tribution to the Edinburgh Review. It is reprinted 
in his Miscellanies (iii. 191). The indirect and 
unintended compliment contained in this inquiry 
would naturally give Carlyle pleasure. He wrote 
to his brother, Dr. Carlyle, on the 7th March : — 

"For the Foreign Review next November, I have also 
engaged to send in a long paper on Goethe's Character 
generally ; this of Helena being only a sort of introduction. 
Before I quit this subject of Reviews, I must quote you the 
following sentence written, mit eigner hand, by Goethe in a 
letter I had from him three weeks or four ago. He says : 
Kb'nnen Sie mir vertrauen wer den Aufsatz : State of German 
Literature im Edinburgh Review, No. XCII. geschrieben hat ? 
Hier glaubt man, es sey Herr Lockhart, Herrn W. Scotfs 
Schwiegersohn. Ernst und Wohlwollen sind gleich verehrung- 
swerth. Good ! — Goethe wrote on this occasion to say 
that another box was coming for us * over Hamburg,' but 
the Leith men have never yet had a ship, and do not 
expect one for a week yet. It contains books; and, 
stranger still, two medals which I am to give to Sir Walter 


Scott in Goethe's name with verbindlichsten Griissen ! This 
will prove a curious introduction j I will tell you about it 
when it happens. No answer to the letter written about 
St. Andrews, which must have met his at sea." 

[Zur Brustnadel.] 

Wenn der Freund, auf leichtem Grunde, 
Heute dich als Mohr begriisst, 
Neid' ich ihm die sel'ge Stunde 
Wo er deinen Blick geniesst. 1 


Weimar, i Jan. 1828. 

On a Breastpin. 

When thy friend, in guise of Moor, 
Greets thee now from background bright, 
I envy him the happy hour 
That brings him gladness in thy sight. 

1 Printed in the Nachgelassene Werke, vii. 194. In the 
centre of the card on which these lines are written, is pinned 
a small brooch (a blackened-bronze medallion of Goethe's head, 
on a polished steel background, with a gold setting). For 
another verse, sent with a bracelet, which ought to have been 
inserted in this page, see infra, p. 151. 


Den lieben treuen Edinburger Gatten 
Zum Neuenjahre, 1828. 

Wenn Phoebus Rosse sich zu schnell 
In Dunst und Nebel stiirzen, 
Geselligkeit wird, blendend hell, 
Die langste Nacht verkiirzen. 
Und wenn sich wieder auf zum Licht 
Die Horen eilig drangen, 
So wird ein liebend Frohgesicht 
Den langsten Tag verlangen. 1 


To the loyal and loving Pair, at Edinburgh, 
For the New Year, 1828. 

When Phoebus' steeds too quickly take 
To dark and cloud their flight, 
The lamp of love will surely make 
Full short the longest night. 
And when again towards the light 
The Hours shall swiftly throng, 
So will a face, full kind and bright, 
The longest day prolong. 

1 This stanza is given in facsimile, by Diintzer, who says 
it was inscribed in an album, which Goethe presented to 
Madame von Mandelsloh. It is there dated "the shortest 
day, 1827." See also Nachgelassene Werke, vii. 217. 


VIII. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

Fortsetzung des mit der Post abgegangenen Briefes. 

[1 $th January 1828.] 

Sehen Sie Herrn Walter Scott, so sagen Sie 

ihm auf das Verbindlichste in meinem Namen 

Dank fur den lieben heitern Brief, gerade in 

dem schonen Sinne geschrieben, dass der 

Mensch dem Menschen werth seyn mtisse. 

So auch habe ich dessen Leben Napoleons 

erhalten, und solches in diesen Winterabenden 

und Nachten von Anfang bis zu Ende mit Auf- 

merksamkeit durchgelesen. Mir war hochst 

bedeutend zu sehen, wie sich der erste Erzahler 

des Jahrhunderts einem so ungemeinen Ge- 

schaft unterzieht und uns die iiberwichtigen Be- 

gebenheiten, deren Zeuge zu seyn wir gezwun- 

gen wurden, in ruhigem Zuge voruberflihrt. 

Die Abtheilung durch Capitel in grosse zusam- 

mengehorige Massen giebt den verschlungenen 

Ereignissen die reinste Fasslichkeit, und so 

wird denn auch der Vortrag des Einzelnen auf 

das Unschatzbarste deutlich und anschaulich. 


Ich las es im Original und da wirkte es ganz 
eigentlich seiner Natur nach. Es ist ein patrio- 
tischer Britte der spricht, der die Handlungen 
des Feindes nicht wohl mit glinstigen Augen 
ansehen kann, der als ein rechtlicher Staats- 
btirger zugleich mit den Unternehmungen der 
Politik auch die Forderungen der Sittlichkeit 
befriedigt wtinscht, der den Gegner im frechen 
Laufe des Gliicks mit unseligen Folgen be- 
droht, und auch im bittersten Verfall ihn kaum 
bedauern kann. 

Und so war mir noch ausserdem das Werk 
von der grossten Bedeutung, indem es mich 
an das Miterlebte theils erinnerte, theils mir 
manches Uebersehene neu vorfiihrte, mich auf 
einen unerwarteten Standpunkt versetzte, mir 
zu erwagen gab was ich ftir abgeschlossen 
hielt, und besonders auch mich befahigte die 
Gegner dieses wichtigen Werkes, an denen es 
nicht fehlen kann, zu beurtheilen und die Ein- 
wendungen die sie von ihrer Seite vortragen, 
zu wlirdigen. Sie sehen hieraus, dass zu Ende 
des Jahrs keine hohere Gabe hatte zu mir 
gelangen konnen. Es ist dieses Werk mir zu 



einem goldnen Netz geworden, womit ich die 
Schattenbilder meines vergangenen Lebens 
[aus den 1 ] letheischen Fluthen mit reichem 
Zuge heraufzufischen mich beschaftige. 

Ungefahr dasselbe denke ich in dem nach- 
sten Stucke von Kunst und Alterthum zu 
sagen, wo Sie audi einiges Heitere iiber 
Schillers [Leben] und German Romance finden 
werden. Melden Sie mir die Ankunft des 
Kastchens und sagen Sie mir dabey was Ihnen 
sonst zu Ihren Zwecken allenfalls wunschens- 
werth ware ; denn so schnell bewegen sich 
jetzt die Mittheilungen, dass mir wirklich die 
Anzeige von 30 deutschen Taschenbuchern 
fur das Jahr 1828, im zweyten Bande des 
Foreign Review ein Lacheln abgewinnen 

Wenn nun Bticher und Zeitschriften gegen- 
wartig Nationen gleichsam auf der Eilpost 
verbinden, so tragen hiezu verstandige Reisende 
nicht wenig bey. Herr Heavy side hat Sie 
besucht und uns von Ihren Um-und Zustanden 
das Angenehmste berichtet, so wie er denn auch 

1 MS., " meines." 


von unserm Weimarischen Wesen es an Schil- 
derung gewiss nicht fehlen Hess. Als Flihrer 
der jungen Hopes hatte er in unserm, zwar 
beschrankten, aber doch innerlich reich ausge- 
statteten und bewegten Kreis, gliickliche Jahre 
nlitzlich verlebt ; auch ist, wie ich hore, die 
Hopesche Familie mit der Bildung zufrieden, 
wozu die jungen Manner hier zu gelangen Gele- 
genheit fanden. Es kommt freylich vieles hier 
zusammen, Jtinglingen, besonders Ihrer Nation 
vortheilhaft zu seyn ; der Doppelhof der regier- 
enden und Erbgrossherzogl. Personen wo sie 
allgemein gut und mit Freysinnigkeit aufgenom- 
men werden, nothigt sie durch Auszeichnung 
zu einem feinen Anstand bey mannigfaltigen 
Vergniigungen. Die librige gute Gesellschaft 
halt sie gleichmassig in heiterer Beschrankung, 
so dass alles Rohe, Unschickliche nach und 
nach beseitigt wird ; und wenn sie in dem 
Umgange mit unsern schonen und gebildeten 
Frauenzimmern Beschaftigung und Nahrung 
fur Herz, Geist und Einbildungskraft finden, 
so werden sie abgehalten von alien den Aus- 
schweifungen denen sich die Jugend mehr aus 


langer Weile als aus Bedurfniss hingiebt. 
Diese freye Dienstbarkeit ist vielleicht an 
keinem andern Orte denkbar ; auch haben wir 
das Vergnligen, dass dergleichen Manner die 
es in Berlin und Dresden versuchten, gar bald 
wieder hieher zurlickgekehrt sind. Wie sich 
denn auch eine lebhafte Correspondenz nach 
Britannien unterhalt, wodurch unsere Damen 
wohl beweisen, dass die Gegenwart nicht aus- 
drlicklich nothig ist, um einer wohlgegriindeten 
Neigung fortwahrende Nahrung zu geben. 
Endlich darf ich auch nicht unbemerkt lassen 
dass vieljahrige Freunde, wie z. B. gegenwartig 
Hr. Lawrence, von Zeit zu Zeit wiederkehren 
und sich glucklich finden, den schonen Faden 
fruherer Verhaltnisse ungesaumt wieder aufzu- 
fassen. Herr Parry hat einen vieljahrigen 
Aufenthalt mit einer anstandigen Heyrath 

Fortwirkender Theilnahme sich selbst.freund- 
licher Aufnahme die Sendung lebhaft empfelend, 


Weimar, d. 15 Jan. 1828, 


der gegenwartigen Sendung. 

1. Zweyte Lieferung von Goethes Schriften, 6-10 Band 


2. Kunst und Alterth. 5 Bande, des 6 Bdes 1 Heft. 

3. Vorwort zu Alexand. Manzonis poetischen Schriften. 

4. Der 2 8 e - August 1827 [Z>em Konige die Muse]. 

5. Hermann und Dorothea, fur Madame Carlyle. 

6. Ingl. Almanach des Dames. 

7. Auch ein Kastchen fur dieselbe. 

8. Ein Packchen fur Hn. Thomas Wolley, ein junger 

Mann der vergniigte und niitzliche Tage bey uns 
verlebte und in gutem Andenken steht, sich gegen- 
wartig in Edinburg befinden soil. 

9. Sechs bronze Medaillen. 

10. Fortsetzung des Schreibens vom 15"- nebst einigen 
poetischen und sonstigen Beylagen im Couvert. 


Weimar, den 15 Januar 1828. 


Continuation of the Letter despatched by Post. 

If you see Sir Walter Scott, pray offer 
him my warmest thanks for his valued and 
pleasant Letter, written frankly in the beautiful 
conviction that man must be precious to man. 
I have also received his Life of Napoleon ; and 


during these winter evenings and nights, I 
have read it through attentively from beginning 
to end. 1 It was extremely significant to me to 

1 Eckermann, under date 25th July 1827, says, "Goethe, 
the other day, received a Letter from Walter Scott, which gave 
him great pleasure. He showed it to me to-day, and as this 
English handwriting seemed to him somewhat difficult to de- 
cipher, he requested me to translate the Letter for him. It 
appears that Goethe had, in the first instance, written to the 
renowned English Poet, and that this Letter is in answer to 
his." (These two Letters are printed in Lockharfs Life of 
Scott, edition 1839, ix. 92-7.) Eckermann, after quoting a 
part of Scott's Letter, and after a few further remarks upon it, 
proceeds : Goethe " took notice of the friendly and hearty 
manner in which Walter Scott describes his domestic circle, 
which, as an evidence of his brotherly trust in him, pleased 
Goethe highly. — ' I am now really eager,' he continued, ' to 
see his Life of Napoleon, which he is sending me. I hear 
so much said against it, and with such passion, that I feel 
sure, at the outset, it will be striking at any rate.' — I asked 
him about Lockhart, and if he still recollected him. ' Oh yes, 
very well !' replied Goethe. ' His personality made such a dis- 
tinct impression that one would not forget it so soon. He must 
be, as I gather from English travellers, and from my Daughter- 
in-law, a young man of whom good things in literature are to 
be expected. — For the rest, I am almost surprised that Walter 
Scott says nothing about Carlyle, who has such a special know- 
ledge of German that he surely must be known to him. — In 
Carlyle it is admirable how he, in his criticisms on our German 
Writers, keeps before him the spiritual and moral essence as 
the chief factor. Carlyle is a moral force of great significance. 
He has a great future before him, and indeed one can see no 
end to all that he will do and effect by his influence.' " — 
Gesprciche mit Goethe. 


see the first narrator of the century taking 
upon himself so unusual a task, and bringing 
before us in quiet succession the momentous 
events which we ourselves had been com- 
pelled to witness. The division into chapters 
of large homogeneous masses makes the in- 
tricate course of affairs perfectly intelligible, and 
the exposition of single incidents, of inestim- 
able clearness and distinctness. I read it in 
the original, and thus it produced its natural 
effect. It is a patriotic Briton who speaks, who 
cannot well view the acts of the enemy with 
favourable eyes ; who, as an upright citizen, 
desires that even in political enterprises the 
demands of morality should be satisfied, who 
threatens his adversary in his audacious career 
of good-luck with fatal consequences, and who 
even in his most bitter downfall can scarcely 
pity him. 

The Work was further full of significance 
to me, since, partly by recalling my own past 
experiences, partly by bringing anew before 
me many things I had overlooked, it placed 
me on an unexpected standpoint, led me to 


reconsider what I had taken as settled, and 
especially, also, enabled me to be just to the 
opponents, who cannot be wanting to so weighty 
a work, and to estimate aright the objections 
which from their side they may bring against it. 
Thus you see, at the end of the year no more 
precious gift could have reached me. To me 
this Book has become a golden net, with which 
I am busily hauling up, in an abundant draught, 
out of the swelling Waters of Lethe, shadowy 
images of my past life. 

I think of saying something like this in the 
next Part of Kunst una 1 Alterthum, where also 
you will find some pleasant things about Schiller 
and German Romance. Let me know of the 
arrival of the box ; and tell me at the same time 
of anything that may be desirable to you in 
your work, for communication is now so rapid, 
that I could not but smile to see in the Second 
Number of the Foreign [Quarterly] Review the 
notice of thirty German " Pocket- Annuals "* for 
the year 1828. 

1 " Pocket-books? Literary Almanacs, bearing analogy to 
the " Annuals " then so popular in England. 


While books and periodicals are at present, 
as it were, uniting nations by the mail -post, 
intelligent travellers contribute not a little to 
the same end. Mr. Heavyside has visited 
you, and has given us the pleasantest account 
of yourself and your surroundings ; he will no 
doubt have given you a description of our mode 
of life here in Weimar. As tutor of the young 
Hopes he spent some profitable and pleasant 
years in our, contracted indeed, but intrinsically 
richly endowed and animated, circle. The Hope 
family, as I hear, are satisfied with the education 
which the young men have found an oppor- 
tunity of acquiring in this place. There are 
indeed many advantages for young men here, 
especially for those of your country. The 
Double-Court of the reigning Grand Duke and 
the Hereditary Family, at which they are 
always kindly and generously received, con- 
strains them, by this mark of distinction, to a 
refined demeanour at social entertainments of 
various kinds. The rest of our good society 
holds them, in like manner, under moderate and 
pleasant restraint, so that anything rude or un- 


seemly in their bearing is gradually eliminated. 
In association with our beautiful and cultivated 
women they find interest and employment for 
heart, mind and imagination, and are thus with- 
held from all those dissipations in which youth in- 
dulges rather from ennui than from inclination. 
This free bondage perhaps hardly exists any- 
where else ; and we have satisfaction in finding 
that men such as I speak of, who have tried life 
in Berlin and Dresden, soon return to us. 

Moreover an active correspondence is main- 
tained with England, by which our ladies clearly 
prove that actual presence is not absolutely 
necessary to keep a well-founded esteem per- 
manently alive. Finally, I must not omit to men- 
tion, that old friends, as, for instance, just now, 
Mr. Lawrence, return from time to time, and are 
happy in taking up at once the delightful threads 
of earlier intercourse. Mr. Parry has concluded 
a residence of many years with a good marriage. 

Desiring for myself, a further communion 
in thought and work, and for what I send, a 
friendly reception, Goethe. 

Weimar, \$lh January 1828, 


Contents of the present Parcel. 

1. Second Section of Goethe's Writings, 6th-ioth volumes. 

2. Kunst und Alterthum, five volumes, and first part of 

the sixth. 

3. Preface to the Poetical Works of Alessandro Manzoni. 

4. The 28th August 1827. 1 

5. For Mrs. Carlyle, Hermann and Dorothea, 

6. Almanac des Dames, 

7. And also a little box for her. 

8. A little parcel for Mr. Thomas Wolley, a young man 

who pleased us and spent profitable days with us, 
and who is held in kind remembrance ; he is 
probably at present in Edinburgh. 

9. Six bronze medals. 

10. Sequel to the letter of the 15th, with some poetical 
and other enclosures in the envelope. 

Weimar, \$th January 1828. 

A well-known letter of Thackeray's describing 
from the point of view of a young Englishman the 
society of Weimar at this very period, affords enter- 
taining and curiously close confirmation of Goethe's 
account of it. Thackeray, writing in 1855, says : 

" Five and twenty years ago, at least a score of young 
English lads used to live at Weimar for study, or sport, or 
society ; all of which were to be had in the friendly little 

1 A little pamphlet entitled, " The Muses to their King " 
(see Kunst und Alterthum, 1827, vi., \st Heft, 217). 




Saxon capital. The Grand Duke and Duchess received us 
with the kindliest hospitality. The Court was splendid, but 
yet most pleasant and homely. We were invited in our 
turns to dinners, balls, and assemblies there. Such young 
men as had a right, appeared in uniforms, diplomatic and 
military. Some, I remember, invented gorgeous clothing : 
the kind old Hof-Marschall of those days, M. de Spiegel 
(who had two of the most lovely daughters eyes ever looked 
on), being in nowise difficult as to the admission of these 
young Englanders. Of the winter nights we used to charter 
sedan chairs, in which we were carried through the snow to 
those pleasant Court entertainments. I for my part had the 
good luck to purchase Schiller's sword, which formed a part 
of my court costume, and still hangs in my study, and puts 
me in mind of days of youth, the most kindly and de- 

11 We knew the whole society of the little city, and but 
that the young ladies, one and all, spoke admirable English, 
we surely might have learned the very best German. The 
society met constantly. The ladies of the Court had their 
evenings. The theatre was open twice or thrice in the 
week, where we assembled, a large family party. . . . 

" In 1 83 1, though he had retired from the world, Goethe 
would nevertheless kindly receive strangers. His daughter- 
in-law's tea-table was always spread for us. We passed 
hours after hours there, and night after night with the 
pleasantest talk and music. We read over endless novels 
and poems in French, English, and German. My delight in 
those days was to make caricatures for children. I was 
touched to find that they were remembered, and some 
even kept until the present time ; and very proud to be 
told, as a lad, that the great Goethe had looked at some 
of them. 


" He remained in his private apartments, where only a 
very few privileged persons were admitted ; but he liked to 
know all that was happening, and interested himself about 
all strangers. ... Of course I remember very well the 
perturbation of spirit with which, as a lad of nineteen, 
I received the long-expected intimation that the Herr 
Geheimrath would see me on such a morning. This 
notable audience took place in a little antechamber of his 
private apartments, covered all round with antique casts 
and bas-reliefs. He was habited in a long grey or drab 
redingot, with a white neckcloth and a red ribbon in his 
buttonhole. He kept his hands behind his back, just as in 
Rauch's statuette. His complexion was very bright, clear, 
and rosy. His eyes extraordinarily dark, piercing, and 
brilliant. I felt quite afraid before them, and recollect 
comparing them to the eyes of the hero of a certain 
romance called Melmoth the Wanderer^ which used to alarm 
us boys thirty years ago ; eyes of an individual who had 
made a bargain with a certain Person, and at an extreme 
old age retained these eyes in all their awful splendour. I 
fancied Goethe must have been still more handsome as an 
old man than even in the days of his youth. His voice 
was very rich and sweet. He asked me questions about 
myself, which I answered as best I could. I recollect I 
was at first astonished, and then somewhat relieved, when 
I found he spoke French with not a good accent. 

" Vidi tantum. I saw him but three times. Once walk- 
ing in the garden of his house in the Frauenplari ; once 
going to step into his chariot on a sunshiny day, wearing a 
cap and a cloak with a red collar. He was caressing at the 
time a beautiful little golden -haired granddaughter, over 
whose sweet fair face the earth has long since closed too. 

" Any of us who had books or magazines from England 


sent them to him, and he examined them eagerly. Fraser's 
Magazine had lately come out, and I remember he was 
interested in those admirable outline portraits which ap- 
peared in its pages. But there was one, a very ghastly 
caricature of Mr. R[ogers], which, as Madame de Goethe 
told me, he shut up and put away from him angrily. ' They 
would make me look like that,' he said ; though in truth I 
can fancy nothing more serene, majestic, and healthy look- 
ing than the grand old Goethe. 

"Though his sun was setting, the sky round about was 
calm and bright, and that little Weimar illumined by it. 
In every one of those kind salons the talk was still of Art 
and Letters. The theatre, though possessing no very extra- 
ordinary actors, was still conducted with a noble intelligence 
and order. The actors read books, and were men of letters 
and gentlemen, holding a not unkindly relationship with the 
Adel. At Court the conversation was exceedingly friendly, 
simple, and polished. The Grand Duchess (the present 
Grand Duchess Dowager), a lady of very remarkable en- 
dowments, would kindly borrow our books from us, lend 
us her own, and graciously talk to us young men about our 
literary tastes and pursuits. In the respect paid by this 
Court to the Patriarch of letters, there was something en- 
nobling, I think, alike to the subject and sovereign. With 
a five and twenty years' experience since those happy days 
of which I write, and an acquaintance with an immense 
variety of human kind, I think I have never seen a society 
more simple, charitable, courteous, gentlemanlike than that 
of the dear little Saxon city, where the good Schiller and 
the great Goethe lived and lie buried." x 

1 Life and Works of Goethe, by G. H. Lewes (London, 
1855), ii. pp. 442-446. 


IX. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Edinburgh, 21 Comley Bank, 
17 th January 1828. 

Respected Sir — In addition to the valued 
marks of your regard already conferred on me, I 
have now to solicit a favour of a more practical, 
and as I may justly fear, of a more questionable 
nature. If the liberty I take is too great, let me 
hope that I shall find in your goodness an excuse. 

I am at present a candidate for the Profes- 
sorship of Moral Philosophy in our ancient 
Scottish University of St. Andrews ; a situation 
of considerable emolument and respectability, 
in which certain of my friends flatter me that I 
might be useful to myself and others. The 
Electors to the Office are the Principal and 
actual Professors of the College ; who promise 
in this instance, contrary indeed to their too 
frequent practice, to be guided solely by 
grounds of a public sort ; preferring that appli- 
cant who shall, by reference perhaps to his 
previous literary performances, or by Testi- 
monials from men of established note, approve 


himself the ablest. The qualifications required, 
or at least expected, are not so much any pro- 
found scientific acquaintance with Philosophy 
properly so called, as a general character for 
intelligence, integrity, and literary attainment ; 
all proofs of talent and spiritual worth of any 
kind being more or less available. To the 
Electors personally I am altogether a stranger. 
Of my fitness for this, or any other office, it 
is indeed little that I can expect you to know. 
Nevertheless, if you have traced in me any sense 
for what is True and Good, and any symptom, 
however faint, that I may realise in my own 
literary life some fraction of what I love and 
reverence in that of my Instructors, you will 
not hesitate to say so ; and a word from you 
may go further than many words from another. 
There is also a second reason why I ask this 
favour of you : the wish to feel myself connected 
by still more and still kinder ties with a man 
to whom I must reckon it among the pleasures 
of my existence that I stand in any relation 
whatever. . For the rest, let me assure you that 
good or ill success in this canvass is little likely 


to affect my equanimity unduly ; I have studied 
and lived to little purpose, if I have not, at the 
age of two-and-thirty, learned in some degree 
" to seek for that consistency and sequence 
within myself, which external events will for 
ever refuse me." I need only add, on this sub- 
ject, that the form of such a document as I 
solicit is altogether unimportant ; that of a 
general Certificate or Testimonial, not specially 
addressed at all, being as common as any other. 
The main purpose of my letter is thus 
accomplished ; but I cannot conclude without 
expressing my satisfaction at the good news 
we continue to hear from Weimar, and the 
interest which all of us feel in your present so 
important avocations. By returning travellers 
and Friends resident in Germany we often get 
some tidings of you. A younger Brother of 
mine, at present studying Medicine and Philo- 
sophy in Munchen, has the honour of an 
acquaintance with your correspondent, Dr. 
Sulpiz Boisseree ; x through whose means I 

1 Dr. John A. Carlyle sent to his Brother extracts which Bois- 
serde had allowed him to make from Goethe's Letters. These 



have just learned that you proceed with un- 
abated diligence in the correction of your Works : 
and what especially contents me, that we are 
soon to expect some further improvement, per- 
haps enlargement of the Wander jahre ; and at 
all events a Second Part of Faust. In the 
TVanderjakre, so choice a piece of composition 
does it seem to me, I confess I see not well 
what improvements are to be made : so beauti- 
ful, so soft, and gracefully expressive an 
embodiment of all that is finest in the Philo- 
sophy of Art and Life, has almost assumed the 
aspect of perfection in my thoughts ; every 
word has meaning to me ; there are sentences 
which I could write in letters of gold. Enlarge- 
ment, indeed, I could desire without limit : and 
yet the work, as it stands, has the singular 
character of a completed fragment, so lightly yet 
so cunningly is it joined together, and then the 
concluding chapter, with its Bleibe nicht am 
Boden haften, 1 as it were, scatters us all into 

contain high praise of Carlyle, especially of his Life of ^chiller 
and German Romance; as well as an account of Goethe's 
labours on the Second Part of Faust. 

1 Carlyle translates it : "Keep not standing fix'd and rooted." 


infinite space ; and leaves the work lying like 
some fair landscape of an unknown wondrous 
region, bounded on this side with bright clouds, 
or melting on that into the vacant azure ! May 
I ask if there is any hope that these clouds 
will roll away, and show us the undiscovered 
country that lies beneath them ? Of Faust I 
am taught to expect with confidence, not only a 
continuation but a completion, and share in the 
general curiosity of Europe to see what it is. 

Will you pardon me for speaking so freely 
of what I know so slightly ? I may well feel 
an interest in your labours such as few do. My 
wife unites with me, as in all honest things, so 
in this, in warmest regards to you and yours. 
Nay, your Ottilie 1 is not unknown to her ; with 
the sharp sight of female criticism she had 
already detected a lady's hand in the tasteful 
arrangement of that Packet, not yet under- 
standing to whom it might be due. Will Ottilie 
von Goethe accept the friendly and respectful 
compliments of Jane Welsh Carlyle, who hopes 

1 Madame von Goethe, wife of Goethe's only surviving son, 
August, who died in 1830. See infra, p. 247, n. 


one day to know her better ? For it is among our 
settled wishes, I might almost say projects, some 
time to see Germany, and its Art and Artists, 
and the man who more than any other has made 
it dear and honourable to us. We even paint 
out to ourselves the too hollow day-dream of 
spending next winter, or if this Election prosper, 
the summer which will follow it, in Weimar ! 
Alas, that Space cannot be contracted nor Time 
lengthened out, and so many must not meet, 
whose meeting could have been desired ! Mean- 
while we will continue hoping ; and pray that, 
seen or unseen, all good may ever abide with you. 
Trusting soon to have the honour of a letter, 
I remain, Respected Sir, yours with affection- 
ate reverence, ™ ~ 

Ihomas Carlyle. 

X. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

[14//* March 1828.] 

Wenn Beykommendes schon vor acht 
Wochen Gewtinschtes noch zu rechter Zeit 
ankommt so soil es mich freuen. Das lange 
Aussenbleiben zu entschuldigen miisste ich viel 


von verketteten Arbeiten und Anforderungen, 
berichten und beschreiben und konnte Ihnen 
doch keinen Begriff von alien den Obliegen- 
heiten geben die sich durch so lange Jahre an 
mir herangehauft und sich noch taglich eher 
vermehren als vermindern. 

Ein Kastchen mannigfaltigen Inhalts, abge- 
gangen von hier den 20 Januar d. J. von 
Hamburg durch Vermittlung der Hn. Parish 
den 1 Febr. wird langst in Ihren Handen und 
ich hoffe gut aufgenommen seyn. 

Geben Sie mi einige Nachricht deshalb, wie 
auch ob Gegen wartiges einigermassen gefruchtet. 

Grtissen Sie mir Ihre liebe Gattinn von 
mir und den Meinigen und erhalten mir Ihre 
treuen Gesinnungen wie ich sie auch lebens- 
langlich zu hegen gewiss nicht unterlasse. 
Theilnehmend u. rnitwirkend, 

/. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, d. 14 Marz 1828. 


I shall be glad if the enclosed [Testimonial], 
which you asked for more than eight weeks 


ago, should yet arrive in good time. To excuse 
my prolonged delay I should be obliged to make 
a long story of an unbroken chain of labours and 
engagements, and, even then, I should give you 
no idea of the multitude of duties that have 
been heaped upon me these many years, and 
which still day by day rather increase than 

A little box containing a variety of ob- 
jects, which left here on the 20th of January, 
and Hamburg on the 1st of February, for- 
warded thence by Messrs. Parish, must have 
reached you long since, and I hope proved 

Let me have some news of it, and inform 
me also whether my present enclosure prove 
of any use. Greet your dear wife from me and 
mine, and maintain kind feelings towards me, 
such as on my part I shall certainly not cease 
to cherish for you so long as I live. 

In fellowship, heart and hand, 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, 14th March 1828. 


XI. — Goethe's Testimonial to Carlyle. 

\\\th March 1828.] 

Wahre Ueberzeugung geht vom Herzen 
aus, das Gemtith, der eigentliche Sitz des 
Gewissens, richtet tiber das Zulassige und 
Unzulassige weit sicherer als der Verstand, 
der gar manches einsehen und bestimmen wird 
ohne den rechten Punct zu treffen. 

Ein wohlwollender auf sich selbst merkender 
Character, der sich selbst zu ehren, mit sich 
selbst in Frieden zu leben wlinscht und doch 
so manche Unvollkommenheit die sein Inneres 
verwirrt empfinden muss, manchen Fehler zu 
bedauern hat, der die Person nach aussen com- 
promittirt, wodurch er sich denn nach beyden 
Seiten hin beunruhigt und bestritten findet, 
wird sich von diesen Beschwernissen auf alle 
Weise zu befreyen suchen. 

Sind nun aber diese Misshelligkeiten in 
treuer Beharrlichkeit durchgefochten, hat der 
Mensch erkannt, dass man sich von Leiden und 
Dulden nur durch ein Streben und Thun zu 


erholen vermag, dass fiir den Mangel ein 
Verdienst, fiir den Fehler ein Ersatz zu suchen 
und zu finden sey, so fiihlt er sich behaglioh 
als einen neuen Menschen. 

Dann aber drangt ihn sogleich eine ange- 
borene Glite auch anderen gleiche Mlihe, 
gleiche Beschwerden zu erleichtern, zu ersparen, 
seine Mitlebenden liber die innere Natur, liber 
die aussere Welt aufzuklaren, zu zeigen woher 
die Widerspriiche kommen, wie sie zu ver- 
meiden und auszugleichen sind. Dabey aber 
gesteht er dass dem alien ungeachtet im Laufe 
des Lebens sowohl Aeusseres als Inneres un- 
ablassig im Conflict befangen bleibe und wie 
man sich deshalb rlisten mtisse taglich solchen 
Kampf wiederholt zu bestehen. 

Wie sich nun ohne Anmassung behaupten 
lasst dass die deutsche Literatur in diesem 
humanen Bezug viel geleistet hat, dass durch 
sie eine sittlich psychologische Richtung 
durchgeht, nicht in ascetischer Aengstlichkeit, 
sondern eine freye naturgemasse Bildung und 
heitere Gesetzlichkeit einleitend, so habe ich 
Herrn Carlyle's bewundernswiirdig tiefes 


Studium der deutschen Literatur mit Ver- 
gnligen zu beobachten gehabt und mit Antheil 
bemerkt, wie er nicht allein das Schone und 
Menschliche, Gute und Grosse bey uns zu finden 
gewusst, sondern auch von dem Seinigen, 
reichlich heriibergetragen und uns mit den 
Schatzen seines Gemtithes begabt hat. Man 
muss ihm ein klares Urtheil liber unsere 
asthetisch sittlichen Schriftsteller zugestehen, 
und zugleich eigene Ansichten, wodurch er an den 
Tag giebt dass er auf einem originalen Grund 
beruhe und aus sich selbst die Erfordernisse des 
Guten und Schonen zu entwickeln das Ver- 
mogen habe. 

In diesem Sinne darf ich ihn wohl flir einen 
Mann halten, der eine Lehrstelle der Moral 
mit Einfalt und Reinheit, mit Wirkung und 
Einfluss bekleiden werde, indem er nach eigen 
gebildeter Denkweise, nach angebornen Fahig- 
keiten und erworbenen Kenntnissen, die ihm 
anvertraute Jugend liber ihre wahrhaften 
Pflichten erklaren, Einleitung und Antrieb der 
Gemlither zu sittlicher Thatigkeit sich zum 
Augenmerk nehmen, und sie dadurch einer 


religiosen Vollendung unablassig zufiihren 

Dem Vorstehenden darf man wohl nunmehr 
einige Erfahrungsbetrachtungen hinzufugen. 

Ueber das Princip woraus die Sittlichkeit 
abzuleiten sey, hat man sich nie vollkommen 
vereinigen konnen. Einige haben den Eigen- 
nutz als Triebfeder aller sittlichen Handlungen 
angenommen ; andere wollten den Trieb nach 
Wohlbehagen, nach Gliickseligkeit als einzig 
wirksam finden ; wieder andere setzten das 
apodiktische Pflichtgebot oben an, und keine 
dieser Voraussetzungen konnte allgemein aner- 
kannt werden, man musste es zuletzt am 
gerathensten finden aus dem ganzen Complex 
der gesunden menschlichen Natur das Sittliche 
so wie das Schone zu entwickeln. 

In Deutschland hatten wir schon vor 
sechzig Jahren das Beyspiel eines gliicklichen 
Gelingens der Art. Unser Gellert, welcher 
keine Ansprliche machte ein Philosoph von 
Fach zu seyn, aber als ein grundguter, sittlicher 
und verstandiger Mann durchaus anerkannt 


werden musste, las in Leipzig unter dem 

grossten Zulauf eine hochst reine, ruhige, 

verstandige und verstandliche Sittenlehre mit 

grossem Beyfall und mit dem besten Erfolg ; 

sie war den Bedtirfnissen seiner Zeit gemass 

und wurde erst spat durch den Druck bekannt. 

Die Meynungen eines Philosophen greifen 

sehr oft nicht in die Zeit ein, aber ein ver- 

standiger wohlwollender Mann, frey von 

vorgefassten Begriffen, umsichtig auf das was 

eben seiner Zeit Noth thut, wird von seinen 

Gefuhlen, Erfahrungen und Kenntnissen gerade 

dasjenige mittheilen was in der Epoche wo er 

auftritt die Jugend sicher und folgerecht in das 

geschaftige und thatfordernde Leben hinein- 

fiihrt. 1 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, den 14th Marz, 1828. 


True conviction proceeds from the heart ; 
the Soul, the real seat of the Conscience, judges 

1 MS., " hineingefuhrt." 


concerning what may be permitted and what 
may not be permitted far more surely than the 
Understanding, which will see into and determine 
many things without hitting the right mark. 

A well-disposed and self- observant man, 
wishing to respect himself and to live at peace 
with himself, and yet conscious of many an 
imperfection perplexing his inner life, and 
grieved by many a fault compromising him in 
the eyes of others, whereby he finds himself 
disturbed and opposed from within and from 
without, will seek by all methods to free him- 
self from such impediments. 

When once, however, he has fought his way 
faithfully and perseveringly through these dis- 
cordant elements, and has recognised that only 
by striving and by doing can he vanquish his 
sorrow and suffering, that for each defect a 
merit, for each fault an amends must be sought 
and found, then does he feel himself at peace, 
as a new man. 

But then, too, does an innate good impulse 
at once impel him to lighten the burden for 
others and to save them from like sufferings, 


to enlighten his fellow -creatures as to their 
inner nature, and the outer world, to show 
them whence contradictions come in and how 
they are to be avoided and reconciled. At the 
same time, however, notwithstanding all this, 
he must confess that in the course of life, the 
outer and the inner remain in incessant conflict, 
and that one must therefore daily arm himself 
to maintain the ever-renewed struggle. 

It may now without arrogance be asserted 
that German Literature has effected much for 
humanity in this respect, that a moral-psycho- 
logical tendency pervades it, introducing not 
ascetic timidity, but a free culture in accordance 
with nature, and in cheerful obedience to law, 
and therefore I have observed with pleasure 
Mr. Carlyle's admirably profound study of this 
literature, and I have noticed with sympathy 
how he has not only been able to discover 
the beautiful and human, the good and great 
in us, but has also contributed what was his 
own, and has endowed us with the treasures 
of his genius. It must be granted that he has 
a clear judgment as to our ^Esthetic and Ethic 


Writers, and, at the same time, his own way 
of looking at them, which proves that he 
rests on an original foundation and has the 
power to develop in himself the essentials of 
what is good and beautiful. 

In this sense, I may well regard him as a 
man who would fill a Chair of Moral Philo- 
sophy, with single-heartedness, with purity, 
effect and influence ; enlightening the youth en- 
trusted to him as to their real duties, in accord- 
ance with his disciplined thought, his natural 
gifts and his acquired knowledge, aiming at 
leading and urging their minds to moral activity, 
and thereby steadily guiding them towards a 
religious completeness. 

One may now be permitted to add to the 
above, some considerations based on ex- 

In regard to the original principle of 
morality, men have never been able com- 
pletely to agree. Some have considered sejf- 
interest as the mainspring of all moral action ; 
others have been disposed to consider the 


desire for ease and comfort, for happiness, as 
alone effective ; others again have made the 
apodictic law of duty supreme : but none of 
these hypotheses having been able to gain 
general acceptance, it was at last found most 
advisable to deduce the development of Morals 
as well as of ^Esthetics out of the whole Com- 
plex of healthy human nature. 

We already had in Germany, more than 
sixty years ago, an example of a happy suc- 
cess of this kind. Our Gellert, who made no 
claim to be a Philosopher, but was univer- 
sally regarded as a thoroughly good, moral 
and sensible man, delivered at Leipzig before 
the greatest audiences, a most pure, sensible 
and intelligible Course of Lectures on Moral 
Philosophy, with great acceptance, and with 
the best success ; it was adapted to the needs 
of his time, and did not become known through 
the Press till later on. 1 

1 "En 1758, il [Gellert] donna un cours de morale dont le 
succes fut prodigieux : ce n'etait point un traite philosophique de 
morale, mais une suite de reflexions, bien enchainees et bien 
pre'sente'es, sur la nature et la destination de l'homme, sur 
l'importance et la beaute de la vertu ; toute pedanterie scolas- 


It often happens that the opinions of a 
philosopher do not influence his own time ; but 
a sensible, genial man, free from preconceived 
ideas, looking about him for what his time 
specially needs, will communicate from his feel- 
ings, experiences and knowledge, exactly what 
is required, in his own epoch, to guide youth 
surely and logically into practical and active 


J. W. v. Goethe. 

Carlyle writes to his Brother John, from Craigen- 
puttock, 1 6th April 1828 : 

" Goethe's certificate arrived while I was in the country : 
mustard after dinner ; which these rough feeders shall not 
so much as smell ! It also is a magnanimous Testimonial, 
beautifully written, and may elsewhere avail me. The old 
Sage fills a whole sheet with his Aeusserungen ; of which not 
quite one leaf belongs directly to me, the rest being as it 
were Erklarungsbetrachtungen. Many things are mentioned 
wodurch er an den Tag giebt, dass er auf einem originalen 
Grand beruhe^ und die Erfordernisse des Guten und Schonen 
aus sich selbst zu entwickeln das Vermogen habe ; a. praise 
which JTe, could he appropriate it rightly, ought to value 
more than any Professorship in these parts. To-morrow I am 

tique en etait bannie : cette maniere simple et sans pretention 
de science e"tait alors un phenomene ; aussi fut-elle universelle- 
ment goutee." — Biog. Universelle. This course of Lectures 
was published in 1770, the year after Gellert's death. 


to write to the Wei7?iarische?i ; for his Box also has now come 
to hand; with its medals for Sir Walter, its Books and Letters 
and verses for me ; and beautiful trinkets, — a bracelet, and 
the prettiest breastpin, — for Jane. Four other medals are 
here for distribution ; which I think of conferring severally 
on Jeffrey, Wilson, Lockhart, Wordsworth; but have yet 
had time only for writing to Scott, who is at present in 
London. To a certainty you must come round by Weimar 
as you return, and see this World's-wonder, and tell us on 
your sincerity what manner of man he is, for daily he grows 
more inexplicable to me. One letter is written like an 
oracle, the next shall be too redolent of twaddle. How is 
it that the Author of Faust and Meister can tryste himself 

with such characters, as 'Herr ' (the simplest and 

stupidest man of his day, a Westmoreland Gerundgrinder 

and Cleishbothani) and 'Captain ,' a little, wizened 

cleanly man, most musical, most melancholy? Is he 
greater than man ; or in his old days growing less than 
many men ? The former to me is unexampled, the latter 
incredible. Go see, and tell us truly. He will receive you 
well. — For myself, unshaken in my former belief, though 
Jane rather wavers, I have written forty long pages on his 
Helena, which are already printed, and will be here in a few 
days ; and now must commence a still longer Essay on the 
Man himself." 

XII. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Edinburgh, 21 Comley Bank, 
\%th April 1828. 

Respected Sir — Your letter of the 1st 
January reached me in due course of Post ; 


awakening the gladdest anticipations, which, 
however, there was little hope of soon seeing 
fulfilled ; for, owing to the state of the Elbe, 
our Hamburg Shippers seldom sail in winter ; 
and, in this case, no vessel was to be expected 
till the beginning of the present month. A 
second letter, enclosing the Certificate I had 
requested from you, found me, some ten days 
ago, in the country : and last week, after my 
return hither, the so long wished-for Box did 
at length actually arrive, with all its contents 
in perfect entireness and safety. It is now my 
duty and privilege to acknowledge so many 
favours, yet with regret that I have done and 
can do so little to deserve them. Our best 
thanks are heartily yours : and with this may 
all be understood that could not in many words 
be expressed ; for feelings of such a sort are at 
no time capable of being rightly translated into 
speech. To give glad hours to those that love 
us, though " over the sea " must be truest happi- 
ness ; and here surely it is yours. 

To Sir Walter Scott, who is at present in 
London, I have already written ; announcing so 


delightful a message ; and even transcribing for 
him what you say of his Life of Napoleon ; a 
friendly criticism which, from such a quarter, 
must gratify him highly, contrasted as it is with 
the frequent censure he has had to suffer on 
this head, both from foreign and domestic 
readers. Already we have even a second Life 
of Napoleon? also by a man of talent, where an 
altogether opposite spirit prevails ; and which, 
if I may judge from appearances, must have 
been considerably applauded. Ere long, I 
expect to see Sir Walter, and present him your 
Medals in person. I know not whether you are 
aware that he too is a reader of German, nay, 
that at the entrance of his literary life, he trans- 
lated your Gotz von Berlichingen, to which 
circumstance many of his critics attribute no 
small influence on his subsequent poetical pro- 
cedure. The other four Medals I shall also 
endeavour, not rashly but worthily, to dispose 
of. One, I already think of bestowing on Mr. 
Lockhart, Sir Walter Scott's son-in-law, whose 
love of German literature, and debts to you in 

1 Hazlitt's Life of Napoleon. 4 vols., London, 1827. 


particular, he has omitted no opportunity of 

And here I must not forbear to mention 
that Mr. Lockhart certainly did not write 
that Essay on the " State of German Litera- 
ture" in the Edinburgh Review ; as indeed he 
has never written aught in that Journal, and 
could not well write aught, being Editor of the 
Quarterly Reviezu, a work directly opposed to 
it, and Organ of the Tory party, as that other 
is of the Whig or Liberal. If you have not 
already forgotten our dim notions on the." State 
of German Literature," it must gratify me much 
to say that they are in this instance due to 
myself. The Editor of the Edinburgh Review? 
who himself wrote the critique on Wilhelm 
Meister, and many years ago admitted a worth- 
less enough Paper on your Dichtung tind 
Wahrheity is thought hereby to have virtually 
recanted his confession of faith with regard to 
German Literature ; and great is the amaze- 
ment and even consternation of many an "old 
Stager" over most of whom this man has long 

1 Jeffrey. 


reigned with a soft, yet almost despotic sway. 
Let it not surprise you if I give one of your 
medals even to him ; for he also is a " well- 
wisher," as one good man must always be to 
another, however distance and want of right 
knowledge may, for a time, have warped his 
perceptions, and caused him to assume a cold 
or even unfriendly aspect. 

On the whole, our study and love of German 
Literature seem to be rapidly progressive : 
in my time, that is, within the last six years, I 
should almost say that the readers of your 
language have increased tenfold ; and with the 
readers the admirers ; for with all minds of any 
endowment, these two titles, in the present 
state of matters, are synonymous. In proof of 
this, moreover, we can now refer not to one, 
but to two Foreign Journals, published in 
London, and eagerly, if not always wisely, 
looking towards Germany : the Foreign 
Quarterly Review, and the Foreign Review, 
with the last of which I, too, have formed 
some connection. No. I. contained a sketch 
of your unhappy Zacharias Werner from my 


hand ; and here since I began writing has No. 
II. arrived, with a long paper in it, from the 
same unworthy quarter, on the Interlude Helena, 
with the promise of a still longer one, by the 
next opportunity, on your Works and character 
in general ! Nor am I without hope that these 
criticisms, set forth with the best light and con- 
victions I had, may meet with a certain toler- 
ance from you. It is not altogether, yet it is 
in some degree, with mind as with matter in 
this respect : where the humblest pool, so it be 
but at rest within itself, may reflect faithfully 
the image even of the sun. For the rest, there 
must be more Mencechmi among us than was 
supposed ; seeing no one of those three Papers, 
mentioned in your letter, was by me, and no 
two of them by the same person. That Article 
on Hoffmann was written by Sir Walter Scott, 
the two others by young men of this City, one of 
them Editor of the Work j 1 the other (Schulze's 
critic), a translator of Wallenstein, and my ac- 
quaintance. 2 A worthless bookseller -dispute, 

1 Mr. William Fraser, Editor of the Foreign Review. 
2 Mr. George Moir ; see infra, p. 1 o 1 , n. 


now terminated, gave rise to this division into 
two Reviews, which therefore to a certain ex- 
tent, at least in the eyes of their publishers, 
appear as rivals ; though among the Editors 
and writers there seems to be no quarrel ; and 
our English readers, deriving only benefit from 
this competition, view it with indifference or 
even satisfaction. 

But I must not neglect to speak of Mr. Des 
Voeux's " Translation " of your Tasso, 1 concern- 
ing which you honour me by asking my 
opinion. Sorry am I to be forced unequivo- 
cally to call it trivial, nay altogether unworthy. 
No English reader can here obtain any image 
of that beautiful Drama, or, at best, such an 
image as the rugged, bald and meagre school 
versions of Homer, may give him of the 

More than once I had to turn to the original 

1 " Torquato Tasso, from the German of Goethe : with other 
German Poetry translated by Charles Des Voeux, Esq.," dedi- 
cated to Goethe (1 vol., Longman and Co., 1827). A second 
edition, revised and corrected, according to Des Voeux's wish, 
by Ottilie, appeared at Weimar in 1833. He died before the 
printing of this Weimar edition was completed. 


even for the meaning ; nay, in some instances 
the Author himself seems not to have known 
it ; for, ich soil (p. 69) is rendered by / zvill, 
thus expressing a purpose instead of an obliga- 
tion ; and (p. 78) erreicht is mistaken for 
darreicht and translated, not attains but pre- 
sents; to say nothing oiwacker, everywhere trans- 
lated by valiant, which means only kilhn ; and 
klug by shrewd (properly : scharf, scharfsinnig) ; 
Faun (p. 60) by fawn (Rehkalb, probably a 
misprint), and (p. yj) meine Hand ! Schlag ein ! 
by my hand to shake, literally and properly : 
hier ist 7neine Hand — zu schiitteln ! 1 nstead of 
general observations I once thought of drawing 
your attention to some single passage ; for ex- 
ample, to Antonio's truly graceful character of 
Ariosto, in Act I., to show in detail how the 
fine spirit has evaporated in the transfusion, and 
nothing remains to us but such a caput mortuum 
as " source of love or child of glory," " talent's 
power," " spirit forms and yet in person;" 
and worst of all " in juggle formed by sportive 
Cupid," which indeed is a ne plus ultra both in 
sense and expression. But I have already 


occupied you too long with such a matter, con- 
cerning which nothing but your request could 
have authorised me to say one word. In short, 
this translation is like our common translations 
from the German works ; which no reader of that 
language ever willingly looks into ; passable, or 
at least only mildly condemnable, when they deal 
with Kotzebues and Hoffmanns ; but alto- 
gether sacrilegious when they fix on Faust s 
and Tassos. 

The Kunst unci Alterthum y already known 
to me in part, I purpose to read and study from 
beginning to end : much surely there will be, 
profitable to myself ; and perhaps, as you anti- 
cipate, through me " to my nation." Neither 
shall I ever cease to value this your Testimonial, 
which I keep as a prouder document than any 
patent from the Heralds' College. On some 
future occasion it may avail me ; though for the 
present it was too late, and yet indeed early 
enough, because not even this, or any other 
earthly proof of mere merit, could have made it 
terminate differently. 

But enough for once ! I shall again and still 


again hope to hear from so honoured a Friend ; 
being now and ever most heartily and grate- 
fully yours, 

T. Carlyle. 

P.S. — A Captain Skinner called here lately 
with your card, and delighted us by singing 
Kennst du das Land in a style which might 
almost have done honour to the Meister's Artist 
on the Lago Maggiore. My wife often plays it for 
me on the Pianoforte. No. II. of the Foreign 
Review, which arrived here to-day, will reach 
you in Weimar, as I hope, in a few days after 
this letter. Your next letter will find me, if 
directed thus : Thomas Carlyle, Esq., of Craig- 
enputtock, Dumfries, Scotland ; for after Whit- 
suntide 1 (the 26th of May) we go to reside 
permanently on that little property of ours, 
among the Mountains, seventy miles to the 
South of Edinburgh. The 74th Regiment 
is not here at present : yet Mr. Wolley may 
be found, if in it, elsewhere, and is already 
written to. 

1 In Scotland, not a church festival but a term-day. 


XIII. — Mrs. Carlyle to Goethe. 

Craigenputtock, Dumfries, 
10th June 1828. 

Respected Sir — The Bearer of this is Mr. 
May, a Merchant of Glasgow, and my esteemed 
acquaintance ; who, in passing through Weimar, 
wishes, as he says himself, to see with his own 
eyes " the first man of the age." I embrace the 
opportunity of sending you by him, in my own 
and my Husband's name, the continued assur- 
ance of our affection and grateful regard ; and 
am ever, with the truest sentiments, your 

Scholar and Admirer, T wt r 

' Jane W. Carlyle. 

XIV. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

[iSthJune 1828.] 

Ihr gehaltreicher Brief vom 18 April ist 
zur rechten Zeit bey mir angekommen und hat 
mich im Drange gar mannigfaltiger Umstande 
getroffen. Ich erhole mich gegenwartig einiger- 
massen um die dritte Lieferung meiner Werke 
anzuktindigen, der ich wie der vorigen eine 


gute Aufnahme hoffen darf. Das Neue, bisher 
noch nicht gedruckte, sey Ihnen besonders 

Herr Skinner ist wieder bey uns und 
berichtet viel Gutes und Freundliches von 
Ihnen und Ihren Zustanden ; freylich miissen 
wir Sie nun, an einem andern Orte, so lange 
in unbestimmteren Lokalitaten denken, bis ein 
reisender Freund uns wieder durch genauere 
Schilderung naher bringt. 

Vier Hefte Ihrer zwey Zeitschriften die sich 
mit fremdem Interesse beschaftigen liegen vor 
mir, und ich muss wiederholen, dass vielleicht 
noch nie der Fall eintrat, dass eine Nation um 
die andere sich so genau umgethan, dass eine 
Nation an der Andern [so] viel Theil genommen, 
als jetzt die Schottische an der Deutschen. 
Eine so genaue als liebevolle Aufmerksamkeit 
setzt sich durchaus fort und fort, ja ich darf 
sagen, dass ich gewisse Eigenheiten, voriiber- 
gegangenen bedeutenden Menschen abgewon- 
nen sehe, in dem Grade um mir gewisser- 
massen Angst zu machen, solche Personlich- 
keiten, die mir im Leben gar manchen Verdruss 


gebracht, mochten wieder auferstehen und ihr 
leidiges Spiel von vorne beginnen. Der- 
gleichen war der unselige Werner, dessen 
frazzenhaftes Betragen, bey einem entschie- 
denen Talente mir viel Noth gemacht, indessen 
ich ihn aufs treuste und freundlichste zu fordern 
suchte. Ich musste Ihren Aufsatz zuerst 
weglegen, bis in der Folge die Bewunderung 
Ihrer Einsicht in dieses seltsame Individuum 
den Widerwillen besiegte den ich gegen die 
Erinnerung selbst empfand. 

Desto erfreulicher war mir Ihre Behandlung 
der Helena. Sie haben auch hier sich nach 
eigner schoner Weise benommen und da zu 
gleicher Zeit aus Paris und Moskau liber dieses 
so lang gehegte und gepflegte Werk mir zwey 
Aufsatze zukamen, so sprach ich mich dariiber 
lakonisch folgendergestalt aus : Der Schotte 
sucht das Werk zu durchdringen, der Fran- 
zose es zu verstehen, und der Russe sich es 
anzueignen. Unverabredet haben also diese 
drey die sammtlichen Kategorien der Theil- 
nahme an einem asthetischen Werke darge- 
stellt ; wobey sich versteht dass diese drey 


Arten nicht entschieden getrennt seyn konnen, 
sondern immer eine jede die andern zu ihren 
Zwecken zu Hiilfe rufen wird. Da ich mich 
aber in solche Betrachtungen nicht einlassen 
darf, obgleich bey solchem Zusammenstellen gar 
manches Erfreuliche und Nlitzliche zu sagen 
ware, so habe ich einen jungen Freund ersucht 
sich daruber auszusprechen mit Rticksicht auf 
die unter uns geflihrten Gesprache. 

Es ist Dr. Eckermann, der sich bey uns 
auf halt und den ich als Hausgenossen anzu- 
sehen habe. Er macht die hier studirenden 
jungen Englander mit der deutschen Literatur 
auf eine sehr einsichtige Weise bekannt und 
ich muss wlinschen, dass er auch mit Ihnen in 
ein Verhaltniss trete. Er ist von meinen 
Gesinnungen, von meiner Denkweise, voll- 
kommen unterrichtet, redigirt und ordnet die 
kleineren Aufsatze wie sie in meinen Werken 
abgedruckt werden sollen und mochte wohl, 
wenn diese noch weitaussichtige Arbeit zu 
vollenden mir nicht erlaubt seyn sollte, alsdann 
kraftig eintreten, weil er von meinen Inten- 
tionen durchaus unterrichtet ist. 


Die Uebersetzung des Wallensteins 1 hat auf 
mich einen ganz eignen Eindruck gemacht, da 
ich die ganze Zeit als Schiller daran arbeitete, 
ihm nicht von der Seite kam, zuletzt, mit dem 
Stlick vollig bekannt, solches vereint mit ihm 
auf das Theater brachte, alien Proben bey- 
wohnte und dadurch mehr Quaal und Pein 
erlebte als billig, die nachfolgenden Vorstel- 
lungen nicht versaumen durfte um die schwie- 
rige Darstellung immer hoher zu steigern ; so 
lasst sichs denken, dass dieses herrliche Stlick 
mir zuletzt trivial, ja widerlich werden musste ; 
auch nab' ich es in zwanzig Jahren nicht gesehen 
und nicht gelesen. Nun aber da ich es uner- 
wartet in Shakspear's Sprache wieder gewahr 
werde, so tritt es auf einmal wie ein frischge- 
firnisstes Bild in alien seinen Theilen wieder 
vor mich, und ich ergotze mich daran wie vor 
Alters und noch dazu auf eine ganz eigene 
Weise. Sagen Sie das dem Uebersetzer 
griissend, nicht weniger auch, dass die Vorrede, 
die eben auch in dem reintheilnehmenden 
Sinn geschrieben ist, mir wohlgethan habe, 

1 See infra, p. 101, n. 


nennen Sie mir ihn auch, damit aus dem Chor 
der Philo-Germanen er als eine einzelne Person 

Hier aber tritt eine neue, vielleicht kaum 
empfundene, vielleicht nie ausgesprochene 
Bemerkung hervor : dass der Uebersetzer 
nicht nur fur seine Nation allein arbeitet, 
sondern auch fur die aus deren Sprache er 
das Werk herubergenommen. Denn der Fall 
kommt ofter vor als man denkt, dass eine 
Nation Saft und Kraft aus einem Werke 
aussaugt und in ihr eigenes inneres Leben 
dergestalt aufnimmt, dass sie daran keine 
weitere Freude haben, sich daraus keine 
Nahrung weiter zueignen kann. Vorzuglich 
begegnet dies den Deutschen, die gar zu 
schnell alles was ihnen geboten wird, verarbeiten 
und, indem sie es durch mancherley Wieder- 
holungen umgestalten, es gewissermassen ver- 
nichten. Deshalb denn sehr heilsam ist, wenn 
ihnen das Eigne durch eine wohlgerathene 
Uebersetzung spaterhin wieder als frisch belebt 

Beyliegenden Brief erhalte von dem guten 


Eckermann, mit welchem ich Sie, wie schon 
gesagt, in Verbindung wiinsche. Er wird jede 
Anfrage die Sie an ihn ergehen lassen gern 
beantworten und kann Sie mit dem neusten 
unserer Literatur, in sofern es Ihnen niitzt und 
frommt, nach Verlangen bekannt machen. 

Treu theilnehmend, 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, den 15 Juni 1828. 

Leider uberrascht uns beym Schluss dieses 
Schreibens die traurige Nachricht vom Ableben 
unsres vortrefflichen Ftirsten des Grossherzogs 
von Sachsen -Weimar-Eisenach welcher am 
14. Juni auf einer Rtickreise von Berlin nahe 
bey Torgau das Zeitliche verliess. Ich eile 
Gegenwartiges abzusenden. Mit den Blichern 
kommt noch manches zu Bemerkende. 

Mit den schonsten Grlissen von mir und 

Ottilien an ihre liebe Gattin, mit dem Wunsche 

zu horen, dass Sie in Ihrer neuen Wohnung 

glticklich eingerichtet seyen, fernere Mitthei- 

lung mir vorbehaltend, 





Your richly filled letter of the 1 8th of April 
reached me in due time, and found me in the 
midst of many pressing affairs. I am now to 
some extent resting in order to announce the 
third Section of my Works, which I venture to 
hope will be no less welcome to you than the 
preceding. Let me specially commend to you 
the new, hitherto unprinted matter. 

Mr. Skinner is again with us, and gives us 
good and pleasant news of you and of your 
surroundings. To be sure, we must now think 
of you in another scene, in localities which must 
be more dim to us, till some friendly traveller 
brings us nearer to one another again by a 
more minute description. 

Four numbers of your two Journals, which 
are devoted to foreign interests, are lying be- 
fore me, and I must repeat that never b.efore 
perhaps did one nation take such pains to under- 
stand another, and show so much sympathy with 
another, as Scotland now does in respect to 


Germany. Careful study, no less exact than 
kindly, continues to be manifested everywhere ; 
and indeed I may say that I see certain charac- 
teristics of men whose significance belongs to 
the past, portrayed with such distinctness as 
almost to alarm me lest the very persons them- 
selves, who in their lifetime occasioned me 
much annoyance, should come to life again, and 
begin anew their sorry sport. For instance, 
the unlucky Werner, whose absurd conduct, 
combined with decided talent, gave me great 
trouble, whilst I was endeavouring to help 
him in a truly friendly spirit. I had at first to 
put aside your essay about him, till afterwards 
my admiration of your insight into his strange 
character overcame the repugnance I felt at 
being reminded of him. 

All the more pleasing to me was your treat- 
ment of Helena. Here, too, you have quitted 
yourself in your own beautiful way, and since 
I received at the same time from Paris and 
Moscow two reviews of this long-fostered and 
cherished work, I expressed myself laconically 
in regard to them, as follows : The Scot seeks 


to penetrate the work, the Frenchman to under- 
stand it, and the Russian to appropriate it. 
These three have thus, without preconcerted 
intention, represented all the categories of in- 
terest that may be taken in a work of art. Of 
course I do not mean that these three kinds can 
be entirely separated, for each must always call 
in the aid of the others. However, not per- 
mitting myself to enter into considerations of 
this sort, though as to such comparisons, many 
a pleasant and profitable thing might be said, 
I have asked a young friend to write to you on 
the subject, bearing in mind the conversations 
which he and I have had regarding it. 

This is Dr. Eckermann, who is living near 
us, and whom I have come to regard as one of 
the family. In a very intelligent way he makes 
young Englishmen, studying here, acquainted 
with German literature, and I cannot but wish 
that he may enter into relations with you also. 
He is thoroughly acquainted with my senti- 
ments and ways of thinking, edits and arranges 
my smaller Pieces as they are being printed in 
my Works, and may indeed, if it should not be 


permitted me to finish this far-reaching task, 
step in effectively, he being completely informed 
as to my intentions. 

The translation of Wallenstein 1 has made 
a quite peculiar impression upon me. During 
all the time that Schiller was at work upon it 
I never left his side, until at length, being 
perfectly familiar with the play, I together 
with him put it upon the stage, attended all 
rehearsals, and in doing so endured more 
vexation and chagrin than was reasonable, and 
then had to be present at the successive per- 
formances, in order to bring the difficult repre- 
sentation nearer and nearer to perfection. Thus 
it is easy to conceive that this masterly work 
could not but at length become to me trivial, 
nay, repulsive. And so I have not seen or read 
it for twenty years. But now that it unex- 
pectedly comes before me again, in Shakes- 
peare's tongue, it reappears to me all at once, 

1 The translation of Wallenstein (Edinburgh, 1827), see 
infra, p. 122, was by George Moir, afterwards Professor of 
Rhetoric in Edinburgh University (died 1870). — Compare 
with this Letter, Article Wallenstein, Nachgelassene Werke, 
vi. 265. 


in all its parts, like a freshly varnished picture, 
and I delight in it not only as of old, but also 
in a way quite peculiar. Say this, with my 
compliments, to the translator, also that the 
preface, which was written with the same com- 
pletely sympathetic feeling, has given me much 
pleasure. And pray tell me his name, in order 
that he may stand out, from among the chorus 
of Philo-Germans, as a distinct individual. 

And here occurs to me a new observation, per- 
haps scarcely thought of, perhaps never before 
expressed, that the translator works not alone 
for his own nation, but likewise for the one from 
whose language he has taken the work. For it 
happens oftener than one is apt to suppose, that 
a nation sucks out the sap and strength of a 
work, and absorbs it into its own inner life, so as 
to have no further pleasure in it, and to draw no 
more nourishment from it. This is especially 
the case with the German people, who consume 
far too quickly whatever is offered them, and 
while transforming it by various reworkings, 
they in a sense annihilate it. Therefore it is 
very salutary if what was their own, should, after 


a time, by means of a successful translation, re- 
appear to them, endowed with fresh life. 

The enclosed letter comes from the good 
Eckermann, with whom, as I have already said, 
I would have you in communication. He will 
gladly answer any inquiry you may address to 
him, and can, so far as it may be of use or 
benefit to you, keep you informed, whenever 
you desire it, as to our most recent literature. 
With faithful sympathy, 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, \yhjune 1828. 

Alas ! as I close this letter, there comes 
upon us the sad news of the decease of our 
excellent Prince, the Grand Duke of Sachs- 
Weimar-Eisenach, who left this world of Time 
on the 14th of June, near Torgau, as he was 
returning from Berlin. 1 I hasten to despatch 
this. With the books will come various things 
I had to say further. 

With kindest regards from me and Ottilie 

1 Eckermann, under date 15th June 1828, gives an account 
of Goethe's emotion when he heard of the death of this much- 
loved friend. 


to your dear wife, and with the wish to hear 

that you are happily settled in your new home, 

reserving further intelligence, rr + -. 

& & [Goethe.] 


Weimar, d. \^n. Juni 1828. 

Ihre fortgesetzten Bestrebungen und Ver- 
dienste um die deutsche Literatur, mein theurer 
und hochgeschatzter Herr Carlyle, haben schon 
langst in mir den Wunsch entstehen lassen, eine 
Gelegenheit zu finden meine Gesinnungen der 
Zuneigung und Hochachtung gegen Sie auszu- 
sprechen, und es macht mich besonders gltick- 
lich, dass Se. Excellenz von Goethe mich jetzt 
dazu auffordern. 

Ganz frisch leben Sie in unserem Andenken 
durch ihre Beurtheilung der Helena, wie uns 
solche No. II. des Foreign Review uberbracht 
hat ; und ich kann nicht umhin zu sagen, dass 
ich nicht leicht tuber einen literarischen Gegen- 
stand grossere Freude empfunden habe als 
eben bey Lesung dieser Beurtheilung und der 
besonders trefflichen Uebersetzung. 


Ein geistreicher Artikel im franzosischen 
Globe war das Erste was von Bedeutung liber 
die Helena erschien ; sodann folgte das Urtheil 
eines jungen russischen Dichters zu Moskau, 
welches man gleichfalls sehr zu schatzen hatte. 
Sie Selbst nun gehen weiter, sowohl durch 
hoheren Ernst als tiefere Grlindlichkeit, woraus 
denn ein klares und weiteres Detail entstanden, 
wahrend jene nur im Allgemeinen geblieben 

Man konnte verlockt werden Ihrer Dar- 
stellung im Einzelnen zu folgen und sich mit 
Ihnen schrittweise darliber zu besprechen, 
wenn dieses nicht liber die Granzen eines 
Briefes hinausginge. Ich behalte mir daher 
vor meine Ansichten liber die Helena und 
ihre Franzosischen, Russischen und Englischen 
Beurtheiler, mit Einflechtung dessen was liber 
diesen wichtigen Gegenstand in Gesprachen 
mit Goethe vorgekommen, in einer besonderen 
Schrift niederzulegen und Ihnen zukommen zu 
lassen, wahrend ich jetzt nur fllichtig sage was 
mir zunachst am Herzen liegt. 

Ihre Uebersetzung, die mit dem Original in 


Rhythmus und Treue des Ausdruckes vollig 
gleichen Schritt geht, hat mir zuerst die Ueber- 
zeugung gegeben, dass es moglich sey den 
Faust in einer fremden Sprache vollkommen 
wiederzugeben. Es erfordert dieses freylich das 
tiefste Verstandniss des Originals, verbunden 
mit nicht geringen eigenen poetischen Kraften 
und technischen Gewandheiten ; aber Ihre 
mitgetheilten Proben der Helena beweisen, 
dass Sie alle diese Erfordernisse in hohem 
Grade besitzen, indem Sie sowohl in der alt- 
griechischen wie in der romantischen Gesin- 
nungs- und verschiedenen poetischen Form- 
Weise, sich gleich bewundernswtirdig zu finden 
und zu schicken gewusst. Ich hoffe Sie haben 
die Helena ganz ubersetzt, und werden auch so 
mit der Fortsetzung des neuen Faust thun, 
sowie auch der alte Theil, den Sie so gut 
verstanden, sicher keinen besseren Uebersetzer 
finden wird als eben Sie. Durch den Versuch 
des Lord Leveson Gower hat England., von 
dem gedachten deutschen Werk einen hochst 
unvollkommenen Begriff und es ware zu 
wunschen, dass diesem Mangel durch emegute 


Uebersetzung, wie sie von Ihnen zu erwarten 
ware, abgeholfen wlirde. 

V teles, was ich Ihnen noch in Bezug auf 
Goethe zu sagen hatte, unterdrlicke ich fur 
heute. Sie werden in Ihren Studien fortgehen 
und England wird es Ihnen zu danken haben. 
Wer einmal von Seinem Geiste ergriffen worden, 
kommt nicht wieder los und so brauche ich 
Ihnen nichts weiter zu sagen. 

Herr Fraser in London, der die Gute gehabt 
mir das Foreign Review und allerliebste Bijou 
durch Hrn. Black zu libersenden, schreibt mir 
von einer kleinen Reise die er zu Ihnen zu 
machen im Begriff sey. Ich bitte um einen 
Gruss wenn Sie ihn sehen oder ihm schreiben 

Ich hoffe bald von Ihnen direct zu horen wie 
Sie Sich auf Ihrem neuen Landsitz eingerichtet 
haben. Ihrer liebenswiirdigen Gemalin, von 
der ich oft gehort, sende ich meine besten 
Grlisse und Wunsche. 

Ganz der Ihrige, 




Weimar, i$thjune 1828. 

Your continued efforts and services in behalf 
of German Literature, my dear and much hon- 
oured Mr. Carlyle, led me long since to desire 
an opportunity of expressing to you my feelings 
of goodwill and respect, and it gives me special 
pleasure that his Excellency von Goethe now 
calls on me to do so. 

You live much in our thoughts at this 
moment, through your criticism of Helena, 
which the second number of the Foreign Re- 
view has brought to us, and I cannot refrain 
from saying, that I have seldom experienced 
greater pleasure in any literary matter than in 
reading this critique and your singularly excel- 
lent translations. 

A clever article in the French Globe was 
the first one of importance that appeared -con- 
cerning Helena. Then followed the judgment 
of a young Russian poet at Moscow, in which 
also there was much of value. But you go 


further, with deeper earnestness, as well as 
greater thoroughness of treatment, which re- 
sults in clear and ample detail, while the others 
have dealt only in generalities. One might 
be tempted to follow your exposition in its 
particulars, and to discuss them with you step 
by step, would not this far exceed the limits 
of a letter. I intend therefore to write out 
in a special essay my opinions in regard to 
Helena and its French, Russian, and English 
critics, interweaving with them what has passed 
on this important subject in my conversations 
with Goethe, and to send it to you, meanwhile 
only saying hastily what I have most at heart. 

Your translation, which keeps perfect step 
with the original in rhythm and fidelity of 
expression, has for the first time convinced me 
that it may be possible to render Faust per- 
fectly in a foreign language. This certainly 
demands the deepest understanding of the 
original, with no small poetic power, and 
technical dexterity of one's own, but the por- 
tions of Helena which you give prove that you 
possess all these requisites in a high degree, for 


you have succeeded marvellously in accommo- 
dating and adapting yourself alike to the ancient 
Greek and to the Romantic model of thought, 
and to their characteristic poetic forms. I 
hope you have translated the whole of Helena 
and will proceed to do the like with the re- 
mainder of the new Faust ; the old part, too, 
which you so well understand, can, I am sure, 
find no better translator than yourself. Lord 
Leveson-Gower's attempt has given England 
a most imperfect conception of the German 
work, and it is greatly to be desired that this 
want should be supplied by a good translation, 
such as might be expected from you. 

Much that I had to say to you in respect to 
Goethe, I suppress for to-day. You will go on 
prospering in your studies, and England will 
owe you gratitude for them. Whoever is once 
taken possession of by Ms spirit, never escapes 
from it, and therefore I need here say nothing 

Mr. Fraser, of London, who had the good- 
ness to send me, by Mr. Black, the Foreign 
Review and the charming Bijou, writes me of a 


little journey he is intending to make to you. 
Please give him my compliments when you see 
or write to him. 

I hope soon to hear direct from you how 
you have settled yourself in your new home 
in the country. To your amiable lady, of 
whom I have often heard, I send my best 
regards and wishes. 

Truly yours, 


XVI. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

(Fortsetzung des vorigen Briefs.) 

Ottilie griisst Madame Carlyle zum aller- 
schonsten ; sie und ihre Schwester haben eine 
Stickerey angefangen, welche mitdiesem Trans- 
port fortgehen sollte. Diese freundliche Arbeit 
durch nothwendige Badereisen und nun durch 
das traurigste Ereigniss unterbrochen, soil, hofP 
ich, obgleich spater, in anmuthiger Vollendung 
dort eintreffen. 

Der dritten Lieferung meiner Werke lege 
auch das neuste Stuck von Kunst und Alter- 


thum bey ; Sie werden daraus ersehen, dass 
wir Deutsche gleichfalls im Fall sind uns mit 
fremden Literaturen zu beschaftigen. Wie 
durch Schnellposten und Dampfschiffe rticken 
auch durch Tages, Wochen und Monats-Schrif- 
ten die Nationen mehr an einander und ich 
werde, so lang es mir vergonnt ist, meine 
Aufmerksamkeit besonders auch auf diesen 
wechselseitigen Austausch zu wenden haben. 
Doch hieruber mochte in der Folge noch 
manches zu besprechen seyn ; Ihre Bemii- 
hungen kommen zeitig genug zu uns, den 
unsrigen sind auch schnellere Wege gebahnt ; 
lassen Sie uns der eroffneten Communikation 
immer freyer gebrauchen, besonders geben Sie 
mir zunachst einen hinlanglichen Begriff von 
Ihrem gegenwartigen Aufenthalt, ich finde 
Dumfries ein wenig liber den 55n. Grad 
am Fluss Nith unfern dessen Ausmiindung in 
das Meer ; wohnen Sie in dieser Stadt oder in 
der Nahe? und auf welchem Wege erhalten 
Sie meine Pakete da Sie am westlichen Meere 
gelegen sind, wahrscheinlich noch tiber Leith 
und dann zu Lande ? Doch wie es auch sey, 


lassen Sie bald von Sich horen in Erwiede- 
rung des Gegenwartigen. Grlissen Sie Ihre 
liebe Frau. Ich lege diesmal wenigstens einige 
Noten fur sie bey. 

Gleichzeitig mit dem, den 18 Juni von 
hier mit der Post abgegangenen Schreiben. 
Abgesendet von Schloss Dornburg an der 
Saale ; mit Bitte alles an mich abgehende nach 
Weimar zu addressiren. 


(Continuation of the preceding letter.) 

Ottilie sends most cordial greetings to Mrs. 
Carlyle ; she and her sister have begun a 
piece of embroidery which should have gone 
with this despatch. This friendly work, in- 
terrupted by necessary journeys to some Baths, 
and now by the saddest event, will I hope come 
to her, though later, in graceful completeness. 

I add to the third Section of my Works the 
last number of Kunstund Alterthwn. You will 
see from it that we Germans are likewise occupy- 



ing ourselves with foreign Literature. By mail- 
coaches and steam-packets, as well as by daily, 
weekly -and monthly periodicals, the nations 
are drawing nearer to one another, and I shall, 
so long as it is permitted me, have to turn my 
attention to this mutual exchange also. On this 
point, however, we may yet have many things 
to say. Your labours come in good time to 
us ; for ours, too, quicker means of conveyance 
are prepared. Let us make use of this open 
intercourse more and more freely ; especially do 
you soon give me a clear idea of your present 
abode. I find Dumfries a little above the 55th 
degree of latitude, on the river Nith, near its 
mouth. Do you live in this town or in its 
neighbourhood ; and how do you get my 
packages ? Since you are situated near the 
western coast, probably still through Leith, 
and then by land? But however it may be, 
let me soon hear from you in reply to this 
letter. Greet your dear wife from me. This 
time I am at least sending some pieces of 
Music for her. 

This, of the same date as the letter posted 


on the 1 8th of June, is despatched from Castle 

Dornburg on the Saale ; but please address 

everything for me to Weimar. 


XVII. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

\%th August 1828.] 

Den traurigsten Fall der uns betraf, dass 
wir unsern unschatzbaren Fiirsten verloren, 
habe schon friiher gemeldet und ist Ihnen auf 
jeden Fall durch die Zeitungen bekannt gewor- 
den. Ich lege eine kurze wohlgerathene 
Schrift zu seinem Gedachtniss bey, woraus Sie 
den allgemeinen Verlust beurtheilen, zugleich 
aber auch naher an meinem Zustande Theil 
nehmen werden, wie ich mich, nach einem mehr 
als funfzigjahrigen Zusammenleben, bey einer 
solchen Entbehrung finden muss. Manches 
was ich hinzufligen wollte unterbleibt fur dies- 
mal ; indessen ist es Bediirfniss alle meine 
librigen Lebens-Verhaltnisse emsig fortzuset- 
zen, weil ich nur darin eine Existenz finden 
kann wenn ich, in Betrachtung dessen was er 
gethan und geleistet, auf dem Wege fortgehe 


den er eingeleitet und angedeutet hat. Leben 
Sie recht wohl und lassen bald von sich horen. 

And so for ever 


Schloss Dornburg, den 8n. August 1828. 


The most sad calamity that has befallen us, 
the loss of our inestimable Prince, I have 
already announced, and, in any case, it has 
become known to you through the newspapers. 
I enclose a short well-written Piece in memory 
of him, which will enable you to judge of the 
general loss, and at the same time to sym- 
pathise more deeply with me, in the condition 
in which, after more than fifty years of life 
together, I am left by the loss. Much that I 
wished to add must be left unsaid for this time. 
Meanwhile it is a necessity diligently to main- 
tain all my remaining connections with life, for 
I can find an existence only in contemplating 
what he did and brought about, and in going 
forward on the path which he has opened up 
and indicated. 


Fare you well, and let me hear from you 


" And so for ever," 


Castle Dornburg, Stk August 1828. 

XVIII. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Craigenputtock, Dumfries, 
2$tk September 1828. 

Dear and honoured Sir — A pleasing duty, 
which has long lain before me, need not now be 
put off any longer. Both your Packets are at 
length in my hands ; the Post-letter, enclosing 
Dr. Eckermann's, has been here since the end 
of June ; the Book-Parcel, by way of Hamburg 
and Leith, since last night ; when our servant, 
due notice from Messrs. Parish's Agent being 
given, brought it up with him from Dumfries. 
All was in perfect safety, Books, Music, Manu- 
script ; and certainly a singular and most 
welcome appearance in this our remote home, 
where, it would still seem, we are not toto divisi 
orbe, but in kind relation with what we reckon 
highest and best there. HerrZelter's melodies 


are to be proved to-night on the Pianoforte ; 
and The Poet, as Vogel has drawn him, will 
look down on us, while we listen, with a friendly 
monition that if Yesterday and To-day have been 
spent in wise activity, we "may also hope for a 
Morrow which shall not be less happy." l In a 
few hours, too, I purpose to enjoy this Second 
Part of Faust ; and explore what further novelty 
these estimable volumes contain. 

One dainty little article I already notice in 
the Kunst unci A Iter t hum : your translation of 
our ancient Scottish " Schwank " as Hans 
Sachs would call it, Get up and bar the door ! 

1 The engraving after Vogel, which was sent to Carlyle by 
his brother John from Munich, has beneath it this Verse in 
lithographed facsimile of Goethe's handwriting (see Zahme 
Xenien, Werke, iv. 337): 

Liegt dir Gestern klar und offen, 
Wiriest du Heute kraftig frey ; 
Kannst auch auf ein Morgen hoffen 
Das nicht minder glucklich sey. 


Weimar, 7 November 1825. 

Carlyle translates it thus (see Miscellanies, ii. p. 313): 

Know'st thou Yesterday, its aim and reason ; 
Work'st thou well To-day, for worthy things ? 
Calmly wait the Morrow's hidden season, 
Need'st not fear what hap soe'er it brings. 


The manuscript version I have often read j 1 and 
not without a smile that I should hear, in a 
strange tongue, the old rough rhymes of my 
childhood so faithfully rendered back by the 
Author of Mignon and Iphigenie. As you are 
curious in Popular Poetry, I might mention 
that Scotland is very rich in such things ; old, 
quaint, rugged songs and verses written with a 
sly humour, a sly meaning, which still, as we 
think, characterises the national mind. Some 
of these pieces have even Royal Authors : there 
is The Wife of Auchtermuchty, a far homelier 
piece than yours, and of a similar character, 
which one of our Jameses is said to have written ; 
as another of them did undoubtedly compose 
our Christ's Kirk on the Green, a fragment full 
of a still more genial humour. But of all this 
at some other time. 

For the present, I should thank you again, 
had I words, for this new testimony of your 
friendliness. Doubtless it does seem wonder- 
ful to us that you and yours, occupied with so 
many great concerns in which the whole world 

1 Sent by Goethe in a previous letter. See supra, p. 20. 


is interested, should find any time to take 
thought of us who live so far out of your 
sphere and can have so little influence, recipro- 
cally, on aught that pertains to you. But such 
is the nature of this strangely complected 
universe, that all men are linked together, and 
the greatest will come into connection with the 
least. Neither, though it is a fine tie, do I 
reckon it a weak one, that unites me to you. 
When I look back on my past life, it seems as 
if you, a man of foreign speech, whom I have 
never seen, and, alas, shall perhaps never see, 
had been my chief Benefactor ; nay, I may 
say the only real Benefactor I ever met with ; 
inasmuch as wisdom is the only real good, 
the only blessing which cannot be perverted, 
which blesses both him that gives and him 
that takes. In trying bereavements, when old 
friends are snatched away from you, it must 
be a consolation to think that neither in this 
age, nor in any other can you ever be left 'alone ; 
but that wherever men seek Truth, spiritual 
Clearness and Beauty, there you have brothers 
and children. I pray Heaven that you may 


long, long be spared to see good and do good 
in this world : without you, existing Literature, 
even that of Germany, so far as I can discern 
it, were but a poor matter ; and without one 
man, whom other men might judge clearly and 
yet view with any true reverence. Never- 
theless the good seed that is sown cannot be 
trodden down, or altogether choked with tares ; 
and surely it is the highest of all privileges to 
sow this seed, to have sown it : nay, it is 
privilege enough if we have hands to reap it, 
and eyes to see it growing ! 

But I must refrain myself here ; one small 
sheet will not hold everything ; and I have 
business matters to speak of. Sir Walter Scott 
has received your Medals several months ago, 
not through me directly, for he had not returned 
to Edinburgh when I left it ; but through Mr. 
Jeffrey, our grand " British Critic," to whom, 
as I learn, Sir Walter expressed himself 
properly sensible of such an honour "from 
one of his Masters in Art." The other medals 
have all been distributed, except one, which 
I still hesitate whether to send to Mr. Lockhart, 


or to Mr. Taylor of Norwich, who is at present 
publishing Specimens of German Poetry, is a 
man of learning, and long ago gave a version 
of your Iphigenie which, on report, I under- 
stand to be of a superior sort. Further, at 
your request, I must mention that the Trans- 
lator of Wallenstein is George Moir, a young 
Edinburgh advocate, who cultivates Literature 
in conjunction with Jurisprudence, and promises 
to do well in both, being a person of clear faculty, 
and though young, without any marked defi- 
ciency or redundancy either in talent or temper. 
He is a man of very small bodily stature ; from 
which cause, perhaps in part, I used to regard 
him rather with a sort of fondness than of 
pure equal friendship : he seemed to me a 
little polished crystal, nearly colourless for the 
present, but in which, at some hour, the Sun 
might come to be refracted and reflected in 
a fine play of tints. — As to the Foreign Review, 
you may by this time have seen a long Paper 
entitled, " Goethe," which appears in No. III., 
and for which I can only ask your pardon, 
knowing too well that it is a poor enough 


affair. A far poorer one on Heyne is to come 
out shortly in No. IV., after which I know not 
what, or whether anything from me, is to 
follow ; though Jean Paul, Novalis, Tieck, nay, 
Lessing and Klopstock are all still lying before 
me. The only thing of any moment I have 
written since I came hither is an Essay on 
Burns, for the next number of the Edinburgh 
Review, which, I suppose, will be published 
in a few weeks. Perhaps you have never 
heard of this Burns, and yet he was a man of 
the most decisive genius ; but born in the rank 
of a Peasant, and miserably wasted away by 
the complexities of his strange situation ; so 
that all he effected was comparatively a trifle, 
and he died before middle age. We English, 
especially we Scotch, love Burns more than 
any other Poet we have had for centuries. 
It has often struck me to remark that he was 
born a few months only before Schiller, in the 
year 1759 5 an d that neither of these two men, 
of whom I reckon Burns perhaps naturally even 
the greater, ever heard the other's name ; but 
that they shone as stars in opposite hemispheres, 


the little Atmosphere of the Earth intercepting 
their mutual light. 

You inquire with such affection touching 
our present abode and employments, that I 
must say some words on that subject, while 
I have still space. Dumfries is a pretty town, 
of some 15,000 inhabitants; the Commercial 
and Judicial Metropolis of a considerable 
district on the Scottish border. Our dwelling- 
place is not in it, but fifteen miles (two hours' 
riding) to the north-west of it, among the 
Granite Mountains and black moors which 
stretch westward through Galloway almost to 
the Irish Sea. This is, as it were, a green oasis 
in that desert of heath and rock ; a piece of 
ploughed and partially sheltered and orna- 
mented ground, where corn ripens and trees 
yield umbrage, though encircled on all hands 
by moorfowl and only the hardiest breeds of 
sheep. Here, by dint of great endeavour we 
have pargetted and garnished for ourselves 
a clean substantial dwelling ; and settled down 
in defect of any Professional or other Official 
appointment, to cultivate Literature, on our 


own resources, by way of occupation, and roses 
and garden shrubs, and if possible health and 
a peaceable temper of mind to forward it. 
The roses are indeed still mostly to plant ; but 
they already blossom in Hope ; and we have 
two swift horses, which, with the mountain air, 
are better than all physicians for sick nerves. 
That exercise, which I am very fond of, is 
almost my sole amusement ; for this is one of 
the most solitary spots in Britain, being six 
miles from any individual of the formally 
visiting class. It might have suited Rousseau 
almost as well as his Island of St. Pierre ; 
indeed I find that most of my city friends 
impute to me a motive similar to his in coming 
hither, and predict no good from it. But I 
came hither purely for this one reason : that 
I might not have to write for bread, might 
not be tempted to tell lies for money. This 
space of Earth is our own, and we can live in 
it and write and think as seems best to us, 
though Zoilus himself should become king of 
letters. And as to its solitude, a mail-coach 
will any day transport us to Edinburgh, which 


is our British Weimar. Nay, even at this 
time, I have a whole horse-load of French, 
German, American, English Reviews and 
Journals, were they of any worth, encumbering 
the tables of my little library. Moreover, 
from any of our heights I can discern a Hill, a 
day's journey to the eastward, where Agricola 
with his Romans has left a camp ; at the foot 
of which I was born, where my Father and 
Mother are still living to love me. 1 Time, 
therefore, must be left to try : but if I sink into 
folly, myself and not my situation will be to 
blame. Nevertheless I have many doubts 
about my future literary activity ; on all which, 
how gladly would I take your counsel ! Surely, 
you will write to me again, and ere long ; that 
I may still feel myself united to you. Our 
best prayers for all good to you and yours are 
ever with you! Farewell! T . C arlyle. 

Jane unites with me in affectionate respects 
to your Ottilie, whom, in many a day-dream, 
she and I still hope to see and know in her 

1 Burnswark. 


Father's circle. A Brother of mine will perhaps 
see you in winter or spring on his way from 
Mlinchen. 1 

Dr. Eckermann's friendly and very flattering 
Letter deserved a speedier reply, and shall not 
long want a reply, though now a late one. He 
is known to me by his writings and by report, 
as an able and amiable man ; for whose acquaint- 
ance I should heartily thank you. Meanwhile 
be pleased to assure him of my regard, and 
purpose to express it directly. Many avoca- 
tions must till now be my excuse. — 

Leith is still a safe place of transit for 
German Packages. We are but eighty miles 
from it ; and the Messrs. Parish seem to be the 
most courteous of Expeditors. 

XIX. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

[2$t/i June 1829.] 

Kame so oft ein Anklang zu Ihnen hinuber 
als wir an Sie denken und von Ihnen sprechen : 
so wurden Sie gar oft einen freundlichen Besuch 

1 Dr. Carlyle, to his regret, could not go to Weimar. 


bey sich empfinden, dem Sie am traulichen Feuer 
wohl gerne Gehor gaben, wenn Sie der Schnee 
zwischen Felsen und Matten einklemmt. Auch 
wir, obgleich zwischen kreuzenden Landstrassen 
gelegen, haben uns diesen Winter durch tiefen 
Schnee manchmal bedrangt gefunden. 

Indem ich nun aber eine schriftliche Unter- 
haltung von meiner Fireside zu der Ihrigen 
wende, will ich damit anfangen dass ich der 
lieben Dame Versicherung gebe : Ihr freund- 
liches Schreiben sey uns, wie der Ueber- 
bringer, sehr willkommen gewesen ; er ist, wie 
er wohl schon gemeldet haben wird, freund- 
lichst aufgenommen und alsobald in gute, sogar 
landsmannische Gesellschaft eingefuhrt worden. 
Uns war es dabey besonders ein angenehmes 
Gefiihl, dass in der Folge jemand personlich 
den weit entfernten Freunden zunachst von 
unsern Zustanden unmittelbare Nachrichtgeben 
wlirde. Desto schmerzlicher war uns das Ab- 
leben des guten Skinner, welcher, nach seiner 
Rtickkehr, uns von den Schottischen Freunden 
angenehme Nachricht gegeben hatte, und bald 
darauf hier sein Grab finden musste. 


Von vielen und mannigfaltigen Obliegen- 
heiten belastet, diktire Gegenwartiges an einem 
stillen Abend, veranlasst durch die vierte Liefe- 
rung meiner Werke, die ich, nach einiger Ueber- 
legung, zurtickzuhalten und erst mit der folgen- 
den zu senden Willens bin ; denn es ist nichts 
Neues darin. Erhalten Sie solche spater, so 
werden Sie vielleicht veranlasst, das Aeltere 
wieder anzusehen und sich in Einem und dem 
Andern, nach dem inzwischen verlaufenem Zeit- 
raum wieder zu bespiegeln. Ich ftir meinen 
Theil finde darin eine besondere Prtifung 
meiner selbst, wenn ich ein vor geraumer Zeit 
gelesenes Werk wieder vor mich stelle, oder viel- 
mehr davor hintrete ; da ich denn zu bemerken 
habe, dass es wohl an seinem Platze geblieben 
ist, dass ich aber dagegen eine andere Stellung 
angenommen habe, sie sey naher, ferner oder 
irgend von einer andern Seite. 

Nun aber werden Sie freundlichst einem 
Wunsche nachsehen, den ich meinen entfernten 
Freunden vorzulegen pflege. Ich magnamlich, 
wenn ich dieselben in Gedanken besuche, meine 
Einbildungskraft nicht gern ins Leere schwar- 



men lassen ; ich erbitte mir daher eine Zeichnung, 
eine Skizze ihrer Wohnung und deren Um- 
gebung. Dieses Ansinnen lass ich nunmehr 
auch an Sie gelangen. 

So lange Sie in Edinburgh wohnten tram:' 
ich mir nicht Sie aufzusuchen ; denn wie hatte 
ich hoffen konnen, in dieser tibereinander 
gethiirmten, zwar oft abgebildeten, mir aber 
doch immer rathselhaften Stadt, einen stillen 
Freund aufzusuchen ; aber seit Ihrer Veran- 
derung hab' ich mir das Thai, worin [der Nith] 1 
fliesst, und das an dessen linken Ufer liegende 
Dumfries, moglichst vergegenwartigt. Nach 
Ihrer Beschreibung vermuthe ich Ihre Wohnung 
auf dem rechten Ufer, da Sie denn freylich 
von den herandringenden Granitklippen Ihres 
Ostens ziemlich mogen eingeschrankt seyn. 
[Durch] die Beschauung der Specialcharten, wie 
ich sie erhalten konnte, durft' ich mir wohl, als 
alterfahrner Geolog, einen allgemeinen Begriff 
von diesem Zustande machen ; allein das 
Eigenthiimliche lasst sich auf solche Weise 
nicht erreichen. Deshalb ersuch' ich Sie um 

1 Space left blank in MS. evidently for "der Nith." 


eine Zeichnung von Ihrer Wohnung, mit ihrer 
Umgebung nach dem Gebirge zu ; eine andere 
mit der Ansicht aus Ihren Fenstern, nach 
dem Thai und Flusse so wie nach Dumfries 
hin. Vielleicht zeichnen Sie selbst, oder Ihre 
hochgebildete Gattin, ein Paar solche Blattchen ; 
vielleicht besucht Sie ein Bekannter, der die 
Gefalligkeit hat dergleichen zu entwerfen ; denn 
es ist nur von einer Skizze die Rede, wozu das 
Talent, wie man sieht [vorzugs ?] ] -weis in Bri- 
tannien allgemein verbreitet ist. 

Ihren Landsmann Burns, der, wenn er 
noch lebte, nunmehr Ihr Nachbar seyn wiirde, 
kenn' ich so weit um ihn zu schatzen ; die 
Erwahnung desselben in Ihrem Briefe veran- 
lasst mich seine Gedichte wieder vorzunehmen, 
vor allem die Geschichte seines Lebens wieder 
durchzulesen, welche freylich wie die Geschichte 
manches schonen Talents, hochst unerfreulich 

Die poetische Gabe ist mit der Gabe das 
Leben einzuleiten, und irgend einen Zustand 
zu bestatigen, gar selten verbunden. 

1 Part of word torn by the seal. 


An seinen Gedichten hab' ich einen freyen 
Geist erkannt, der den Augenblick kraftig 
anzufassen und ihm zugleich eine heitere Seite 
abzugewinnen weiss. Leider konnt' ich dies 
nur von wenigen Stiicken abnehmen, denn der 
Schottische Dialect macht uns andere sogleich 
irre, und zu einer Aufklarung liber das Einzelne 
fehlt uns Zeit u. Gelegenheit. 

Vorstehendes liegt mit mehrern andern 
Blattern, werthesten Freunden zugedacht, unter 
meinen Expediendis, kommt aber spat zur 
Absendung ; diesmal meldets ein Kastchen an, 
welches mit der vierten und funften Lieferung 
meiner Werke zunachst an Sie abgeht. Moge 
Gegenwartiges, so wie das Nachkommende, 
Sie und Ihre theure Gattin in gutem Zu- 
stande antreffen und Sie uns bald hievon 
Nachricht geben. Alles grlisst, meine Frau- 
enzimmer legen jener Sendung etwas heiteres 

Treu gedenckend, 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, d. 25 Juni 1829. 



Were an echo to reach you as often as we 
think and speak of you, you would very often 
be aware of a friendly presence to whom you 
would gladly give audience at your kindly 
fireside, when the snow is driving over rocks 
and fields. Even we, although situated between 
cross roads, have found ourselves this winter 
frequently impeded by deep snow. But now, 
since I am addressing a written conversation 
from my " fireside " to yours, let me begin it 
by assuring your dear lady that her friendly 
letter was very welcome to us, as well as its 
bearer. He has been, as indeed he will already 
have told you, received in the most friendly 
way, and introduced at once into good society, 
and even into that of compatriots. It was 
also specially pleasant to us to feel that, in 
days to come, some one would give to our 
far -distant friends direct and personal news 
of us and of our surroundings. And this 
makes still sadder to us the decease of good 


Skinner, who on his return had given us 
pleasant news of our Scotch friends, and soon 
after, was to find his grave here. 

Wearied with my manifold onerous duties, I 
am dictating this on a quiet evening, prompted 
to do so by the Fourth Section of my Works, 
which, however, after some deliberation, I am of 
a mind to keep back, and to send only with the 
following Section, for there is nothing new in 
it. When you receive it by and by, you will 
perhaps be induced to look again at the older 
pieces, and reflect yourself anew in one and 
another, after the intervening period of time. 
For my part I find it a special test of myself, 
when I again set before me a book read long 
ago, or rather put myself before it, for I can- 
not but observe that it, indeed, has remained 
in its place, while I, on the other hand, have 
taken up a different position towards it, perhaps 
nearer, or farther from it, or even on another 

And now I pray you indulge me in a wish I 
am wont to express to distant friends. When 
I visit them in my thoughts, I do not like to 


let my imagination wander in space. I there- 
fore beg for myself a drawing, a sketch of their 
dwelling, and its surroundings. And so I am 
now addressing a like request to you. 

As long as you were living in Edinburgh 
I did not venture to seek you out, for how 
could I hope, in that becastled town (which, 
spite of many descriptions, always perplexes 
me), to find out a quiet friend. But since 
your change of abode I have figured to myself 
as far as possible the Valley through which [the 
Nith] flows, with Dumfries lying on its left bank. 
From your description I suppose your dwelling 
to be on the right bank, for you certainly would 
be much hemmed in by the close -approach- 
ing granite cliffs on the east. The inspection 
of such local maps as I could obtain gives 
me, an old hand at geology, some general 
notion of the environment, but the precise 
locality cannot be got at in this way. There- 
fore I ask of you a drawing of your house, 
with its immediate surroundings towards the 
mountains, and another of the view from your 
windows towards the valley and the river, in 


the direction of Dumfries. Perhaps you or 
your accomplished wife will make these two 
drawings, or perhaps an acquaintance may visit 
you, who will have the kindness to make them ; 
for it is only a question of sketching, ability in 
which, as one sees, [especially] in Great Britain, 
is very general. 

With your countryman Burns, who if he 
were still living would be your neighbour, I 
am sufficiently acquainted to prize him. The 
mention of him in your letter leads me to take 
up his poems again, and especially to read once 
more the story of his life, which truly, like 
the history of many a fair genius, is extremely 

The poetic gift is indeed seldom united with 
the gift of managing life, and making good any 
adequate position. 

In his poems I have recognised a free 
spirit, capable of grasping the moment with 
vigour, and winning gladness from it. To -my 
regret I could gather this from a few pieces 
only, for the Scotch dialect makes most of his 
poems perplexing to us, and both time and 


opportunity are wanting for the explanation of 
them in detail. 1 

What precedes has been lying, with several 
other sheets intended for dear friends, among 

1 Eckermann, under date 25th April 1827, reports Goethe 
as saying : " Take Burns for example. Wherein lies the cause 
of his greatness, except that the old songs of his forefathers 
were still living in the mouths of his people, that they were, so 
to speak, sung to him in his cradle, that as a boy he grew up 
amongst them, and the high excellence of these models so 
dwelt in him, that he had in them a living basis on which he 
could proceed. And further, wherein is he great, except that 
his own songs at once found receptive ears amongst his people ; 
they were re-echoed by the reapers and binders in the fields, 
and he was greeted with them by his boon companions in the 
alehouse. No wonder that something should come of it ! 

" How poor in comparison do things seem with us in Ger- 
many ! For how many of our old, not less significant songs 
were alive in the hearts of the people, even when I was a youth ? 
Herder and those who followed after him had to begin, first of 
all, to collect them ; to drag them from oblivion ; then they were 
at least to be had in libraries. And later, what songs have not 
Burger and Voss composed ! Who can say that they are less 
valuable or less national than those of the excellent Burns ! 
And yet which of them has become living so that the people 
can re-echo them ? They have been written and published, 
and they stand in Libraries and take the common fate of 
German poets. Then of my own songs, which of them is 
living ? One and another is perhaps now and then sung by a 
pretty girl at the piano, but among the common people all is 
silence. With what feelings must I look back upon the time 
when Italian fishermen sang to me fragments of Tasso." — 
Gesprdche mit Goethe. 


my Expediendis, and has been, indeed, too long 
delayed. I now announce to you the speedy 
despatch of a small box containing the Fourth 
and Fifth Sections of my Works. May this 
letter, as well as what follows it, find all well 
with you and your dear wife, and may you 
soon give us news of it. All greet you ; the 
ladies of my household are about to add some- 
thing pleasant to what I send. 

With faithful remembrance, 

J. W. v. Goethe. 
Weimar, 2$thjune 1829. 

" I well remember," wrote Carlyle forty years later, " one 
beautiful summer evening [in 1829] as I lounged out of 
doors smoking my evening pipe, silent in the great silence, 
the woods and hilltops all gilt with the flaming splendour 
of a summer sun just about to set, — there came a rustle and 
a sound of hoofs into the little bending avenue on my left 
(sun was behind the House and me), and the minute after 
Brother John and Margaret, direct from Scotsbrig, fresh 
and handsome on their little horses, ambled up, one of the 
gladdest sights and surprises to me. John had found a 
Letter from Goethe for me at the Post-Office, Dumfries ; 
this, having sent them indoors, I read in my old posture 
and place ; pure white the fine big sheet itself, still purer 
the nobler meaning, all in it as if mutely pointing to 
Eternity, — Letter fit to be read in such a place and 



Weimar, d. in. fidi 1829. 

Mein theurer Herr und Freund — Ihr 
werther Brief vom o,ten * Decbr. v. J. hat mir 
viele Freude gemacht und wenn ich ihn erst 
jetzt beantworte so geschieht es weil ich auf 
eine allgemeine Sendung von Goethe gewartet 
habe, die nun abgeht begleitet von den besten 
Wunschen unseres Herzens. 

Sie leben sehr in unserem Andenken, mit 
Ihren Studien und hauslichem Leben, und ich 
denke Sie mir oft bald reitend auf die Berge, bald 
im Garten beschaftigt, und bald mit Ihrer theuren 
Gattin, Servantes \sic\ lesend, und Goethe. 

Der Artikel im Foreign Review III. liber 
Goethe, hat in Deutschland grosses Interesse 
gehabt. Die Stucke No. IV. und V. sind nicht 
zu unseren Augen gekommen und wir haben 
bis jetzt nicht gelesen was Sie uber die neuesten 
deutschen Theater-Dichter mitgetheilt. 2 

Ich hore von Goethe, dass er Ihnen jetzt 

1 May be " 7 ten ," has been altered, and is not clear. 
2 See infra, p. 142 n. 


die Briefe von ihm und Schiller sendet, und die 
neue Ausgabe der Wanderjahre. Beydes muss 
fur Sie von ausserordentlichem Interesse seyn. 
Die Briefe von Schiller werden Ihnen iiber die 
fortschreitende Bildung dieses bedeutenden 
Mannes, sowie liber sein innigstes Verhaltniss 
zu Goethe die merkwiirdigsten Aufschliisse 
geben ; und da Sie bereits durch Ihr " Leben 
von Schiller " so bewundernswiirdig einge- 
drungen sind, so mochtewohl niemand von diesen 
Briefen einen grosseren Gewinn haben, als eben 
Sie. Mir ist Schiller nie so liebenswiirdig er- 
schienen als in diesen Briefen, die immer der reine 
Erguss des Moments sind, und ohne alle Absicht 
das treuste Bild von dem erhabenen Character 
des Verfassers geben. Goethe erscheint durch 
und durch klar entschieden und vollendet, wie wir 
ihn immer gekannt haben. Ich bin gewiss dass 
Ihnen diese Correspondenz zu einer zweiten 
Auflage Ihres Lebens von Schiller die trefflich- 
sten Materialien liefert. 

Dass Ihr Leben von Schiller jetzt ins Deutsche 
ubersetzt wird, ist Ihnen wohl keine neue Nach- 


Ich konnte Ihnen Vieles liber die Wander- 
jahre sagen ; doch die herrlichen Bandchen 
liegen nun vor Ihnen, reizend genug um mit 
wiederholter Liebe gelesen zu werden und klar 
genug um sich selber auszusprechen. Die 
hinzugekommenen neuen Schatze womit das 
Ganze bereichert worden, sollen Ihnen hoffent- 
lich zu einer baldigen Uebersetzung neue Lust 
geben. Das Alte ist fast alles geblieben, nur 
ist es hier in einer anderen Ordnung. Haben 
Sie den Muth Ihren Band in Stiicke zu schlagen, 
und baldigst das ganze Werk neu aufzubauen, 
so wird Ihre Nation es Ihnen hofifentlich Dank 
wissen. Mir ist wenigstens in keiner Literatur 
ein Roman bekannt, der an Geist so reich und 
an den trefflichsten Tendenzen und Maximen so 
umfassend ware. Wenn Sie an Herrn Fraser 1 
schreiben, so bitte ich ihm die besten Grlisse 
von mir zu sagen. 

Goethe geniesst des herrlichsten Wohlseyns 

und wenn man sein frisches Gesicht, sein strah- 

lendes Auge und seinen leichten Gang sieht, und 

wenn man an seinem Geist und den lebendigen 

1 See stipra, p. 86 n. 


Worten seines Mundes noch nicht die Spur von 

irgend einer Alterschwache zu bemerken hat, 

so giebt uns diess die freudige Hoffnung, dass 

er noch viele Jahre unter uns bleiben und wirken 


Ich werde mich freuen bald wieder einige 

Zeilen Ihres Andenkens zu sehen. Ich bitte 

um die herzlichsten Empfehlungen an Ihre 

theure Gemalin und beharre in den treuesten 


der Ihrige, 


Weimar, 2d July 1829. 

My dear Sir and Friend — Your valued 
letter of the 9th December last gave me much 
pleasure, and if I am only now answering it, it 
is because I was waiting until Goethe should 
be sending a variety of things, which now go 
to you, accompanied by the best wishes of our 

You are much in our thoughts, with your 
studies and your domestic life ; and I often 


think of you as now riding on the hills, now 
occupied in your garden, or reading Cervantes 
and Goethe with your dear lady. 

The article on Goethe in the Foreign Review 
(No. III.) has excited great interest in Ger- 
many. Nos. IV. and V. have not reached us ; 
nor have we yet read your article on the most 
recent German Playwrights. 1 

I hear from Goethe that he is now sending 
you his Correspondence with Schiller and the 
new edition of the Wander jahre. They will 
both be of extraordinary interest to you. 
Schiller's Letters will bring vividly before you 
the progressive stages of this remarkable man's 
development, as well as his most intimate rela- 
tions with Goethe. And as you have, through 
your Life of Schiller, worked your way into 
this subject so admirably, there is probably no 
one who could derive greater profit from these 
Letters than you. To me Schiller never ap- 
peared so lovable as he does in these Letters, 

1 For the article on Goethe (1828), see Carlyle's Miscellanies, 
vol. i. p. 233. For German Playwrights (No. VI. of the Foreign 
Review), see ibid. vol. ii. p. 117. 


which are always the genuine effusion of the 
moment, and give, without at all intending it, the 
truest picture of the author's character. Goethe 
appears throughout, as we have known him, 
serenely decisive and complete. I am sure that 
this Correspondence will furnish you with the 
most admirable material for a second Edition of 
your Life of Schiller. 

That this Life is being translated into 
German will, I suppose, be no news to you. 

I could say a great deal about the Wander- 
jahre ; but the noble little volumes are now 
before you, charming enough to be read with 
renewed love, and clear enough to be allowed 
to speak for themselves. The newly added 
treasures with which the whole work is en- 
riched will, I hope, give you a new desire to 
translate them soon. Almost everything that 
was already there, remains ; but is arranged in a 
different order. If you had the courage to pull 
your volume to pieces and, on this new basis, to 
reconstruct the whole work without loss of time, 
one might hope that your country would be 
grateful to you. I, for my part, am acquainted 


with no novel in any literature so full of genius 
or so rich in the noblest precepts and maxims. 

If you are writing to Mr. Fraser, 1 please 
give him my kind regards. 

Goethe enjoys most excellent health ; and 
when one looks at his ruddy complexion, his 
radiant eye, and observes his light step, when 
moreover one can detect in his mind and in the 
living words from his lips, no trace of any of 
the weaknesses of old age, we have the joyful 
hope that he may still live and work amongst 
us for many years to come. 

I shall be glad to see some lines from you 
soon again, in token of your remembrance. I 
beg you to present my cordial greetings to your 
dear lady ; and I remain, 

Most faithfully yours, 


XXI. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

\6thjuly 1829.] 

Mein Schreiben vom 25 Juni wird nunmehr 
schon langst in Ihren Handen seyn. Die 

1 See supra, p. 86 n, 


angeklindigte Sendung geht erst jetzt ab ; 
diese Verspatung aber giebt mir gliicklicher- 
weise Gelegenheit von meinem Briefwechsel 
mit Schiller die ersten Theile beyzulegen ; Sie 
werden darin zwey Freunde gewahr werden, 
welche, von den verschiedensten Seiten 
ausgehend, sich wechselseitig zu finden und 
sich aneinander zu bilden suchen. Es wird 
Ihnen diese Sammlung von mehr als einer 
Seite bedeutend seyn, besonders da Sie auch 
Ihre eigenen Lebensjahre, auf welcher Stufe 
des Wachsthums und der Bildung Sie ge- 
standen, an den Datums recapituliren konnen. 

Auch einen Theil der Aushangebogen einer 
Uebersetzung Ihres Lebens von Schiller liegt 
bey. 1st es mir moglich, so sag' ich einige 
Worte zur Einleitung ; doch es sind meine 
Tage so unverhaltnissmassig tiberdrangt, als 
dass ich alle meine Wiinsche und Vorsatze 
durchfuhren konnte. 

Kommt Gegenwartiges noch an vor dem 
28. August, so bitte an demselben meinen 
achtzigsten Geburtstag im Stillen zu feyern, 
und mir zu den Tagen, die mir noch gegonnt 


seyn sollten, eine verhaltnissmassige Gabe von 
Kraften eifrig zu erwlinschen, auch von Zeit 
zu Zeit erbitte mir von Ihren Zustanden und 
Arbeiten einige Nachricht zu geben. 

Auf dem Boden des Kastchens liegt eine 
Gabe, von meinen Frauenzimmern freundlichst 
gesendet ; diese Wandzierde soil Sie alle Tage 
der Woche (sie wird franzosisch Semainiere 
genannt) und zwar zu mancher Stunde aufs 
heiterste erinnern. Geniessen Sie mit Zufrie- 
denheit der Ihnen gegonnten Ruhe und 
Sammlung, dagegen mein Leben, ausserlich 
zwar wenig bewegt, wenn es Ihnen als Vision 
vor der Seele vorlibergehen sollte, Ihnen als ein 
wahrer Hexentumultkreis erscheinen mlisste. 

Ich erinnere mich nicht, ob ich Ihnen meine 
Farbenlehre gesendet habe ; es ist ausser dem 
Naturwissenschaftlichen doch so manches Allge- 
meine und Menschliche darin das Ihnen zusagen 
mlisste. Besitzen Sie dieses Werk nicht, so sende 
es allernachst ; bitte um Nachricht dariiber. 

Und so fort an ! 


Weimar, den 6 Juli 1829. 


Ein Gleichniss. 
Jiingst pfliickt' ich einen Wiesenstraus 
Trug ihn gedankenvoll nach Haus ; 
Da hatten von der warmen Hand 
Die Kronen sich alle zur Erde gewandt. 
Ich setzte sie in frisches Glas ; 
Und welch ein Wunder war mir das ! 
Die Kdpfchen hoben sich empor, 
Die Blatterstengel im griinen Flor ; 
Und allzusammen so gesund 
Als stiinden sie noch auf Muttergrund. 

So war mir's als ich wundersam 

Mein Lied in fremder Sprache vernahm. 1 


My communication of the 25th of June 
will long ere this have come to hand. The 
parcel announced in it is only now being des- 
patched ; this delay, however, is fortunate, since 
it gives me the opportunity of sending also 
the first parts of my Correspondence, with 
Schiller. In it you will discern two friends, 
who, setting out from altogether different 
sides, seek to come to a reciprocal understand- 

1 Printed in the Nachgelassene Werke^ vi. 1 50. 


ing, and to elevate and instruct each other. 
This collection will be interesting to you on 
more sides than one ; but particularly because it 
will enable you to review the course of your own 
life, and to compare by the dates what your own 
stage of growth and culture was at a like age. 

A part of the final proof-sheets of a trans- 
lation of your Life of Schiller is also enclosed. 
If possible, I shall say some words by way of 
introduction ; but my days are so very much 
interrupted and obstructed that I cannot carry 
out all my wishes and intentions. 

If this present letter should reach you be- 
fore the 28th of August I beg you on that 
date quietly to keep my eightieth birthday, 
and earnestly to wish for me that in the days 
which may still be granted to me, a measure of 
strength may be given in proportion. I pray 
you also to give me news from time to time 
as to how you are situated and as to your 

At the bottom of the little box there is lying 
a gift sent by the ladies of my family, with the 
friendliest feelings. This wall-ornament (called 


in French a semainiere) is to remind you pleas- 
antly of us every day of the week, and indeed 
at many an hour of the day. Contentedly enjoy 
the composure and consistency which have been 
granted to you ; my life, though indeed there is 
little outward agitation in it, must appear, if a 
vision of it should ever cross your mind, a veri- 
table witches' circle of tumult in comparison. 

I do not remember whether I have sent you 
my Farbenlehre. Besides what relates to Natural 
Philosophy, there is so much of general and 
human interest in it that it cannot fail to please 
you. If you do not possess this work, I will 
send it next time. Pray inform me as to this. 

And so for ever ! 


Weimar, 6th July 1829. 

A Comparison. 

Lately I gathered a nosegay in the fields, and musing 
bore it home ; but held in my warm hand, the blossoms 
had all drooped earthward. I put them into fresh water, 
and what a wonder did I then behold ! The little heads 
lifted themselves up, so, too, the leafy stalks in their verdant 
beauty j and they were all as fresh as if still in their mother 


The same feeling was mine when I wondering listened 
to my song in a foreign tongue. 

[Zum Armband.] 

Dies fessle deine rechte Hand 
Die du dem Freund vertrauet; 
Auch dencke dess der fern im Land 
Nach Euch mit Liebe schauet. 1 


With the Bracelet. 

Clasp this around thy fair right hand 
Which now the favour'd friend rewards ; 
Bethink thee, too, in foreign land 
Of him who you with love regards. 

Edle deutsche Hauslichkeit 
Ueber's Meer gesendet, 
Wo sich still in Thatigkeit 
Hauslich Gliick vollendet. 2 

Noble German housewif'ry 
Across the sea is brought, 
Where in peaceful industry 
Household joy is wrought. 

1 Nachgelassene Werke, vii. 194. The bracelet is of various- 
coloured polished pebbles, bound together with gold. These 
lines ought to have been given on p. 46. 

2 Nachgelassene Werke, vii. 208. 


XXII. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Craigenputtock, Dumfries, 
^d November 1829. 

Dear and honoured Sir — I must no longer 
postpone acknowledging these welcome mess- 
ages from Weimar : your Letter, which reached 
us early in September ; and the Packet therein 
announced, which duly followed it, about four 
weeks ago. Both, with all their much-valued 
contents, arrived in perfect safety and entire- 
ness ; giving curious proof of the complete 
arrangements for transport in these times, 
whereby the most delicate article can penetrate 
through unknown nations, tumultuous cities, 
and over wild seas, from the heart of the Con- 
tinent, even into these deserts ; and what is 
stranger still, how a voice of affection from 
the mind we honour most in this age can con- 
vey itself into minds that lie, in every sense, so 
far divided from it. Six years ago, I should 
have reckoned the possibility of a Letter, of a 
Present from Goethe to me, little less wondrous 


and dreamlike than from Shakespeare or 
Homer. Yet so it is : the man to whom I 
owe more than to any other — namely, some 
measure of spiritual Light and Freedom — is no 
longer a mere " airy tongue " to me, but a 
Living Man, with feelings which, in many 
kindest ways, reply and correspond to my own! 
Let me pray only that it may long continue ; 
and if the Scholar cannot meet with his 
Teacher, face to face, in this world, may some 
higher perennial meeting, amid inconceivable 
environments, be appointed them in another ! 

But, descending from these lofty possibilities, 
accept my best gratitude for your friendly feel- 
ings, so often and gracefully manifested towards 
me, which, in this prose Earth, were precious, 
coming even from the commonest man. To 
you, our best return is to profit more and more 
by the good you have done us, to appropriate 
and practise more and more that high wisdom 
which we, with the whole world, have to learn 
from you. 

My wife bids me say that she intends to read 
your entire Works this winter ; so that, any 


evening, when the candles are lit, you can fancy 
a fair Friend assiduously studying you "far over 
the sea ;" one little light and living point, amid 
the boundless Solitude and Night. She finished 
the Wahlverwandtschaften very lately, with 
high admiration, and a sorrow for poor Ottilie, 
which, she admits, expressed itself in "streams 
of tears." Shallow censurers of the morality 
of the work, who are not altogether wanting 
here, she withstands with true female zeal. 

To your own living Ottilie, she requests me, 
however, to present her best thanks for that 
beautiful gift : it hangs in our drawing-room, 
admired by all for its workmanship, and to us 
far more precious for the hand and the house- 
hold of which it is an hourly memorial. The 
fair Artist, as I understand, is ere long to be 
thanked more specially, and in due form, by 
the receiver herself. 

With my own share of the packet I feel not 
less contented. Especially glad was I to find my 
old favourite the Wanderjahre so considerably 
enlarged : the new portions of the Book it was 
my very first business to read, and I can already 


discover no little matter for reflection in that 
wonderful Makarie, and the many other exten- 
sions, and new tendencies which that most 
beautiful of all fragments has hereby acquired. 
The Briefwechsel^ I have also read ; and must 
soon read again ; purposing to make it the 
handle for an essay on Schiller in the Foreign 
Review. I particularly admired the honour- 
able relation that displays itself between Schiller 
and his Friend ; the frankness in mutual giving 
and receiving ; the noble effort on both sides : 
a reverence for foreign excellence is finely 
united with a modest self-dependence in 
Schiller, whose simple, high, earnest nature 
again comes into clear light in this Correspond- 
ence. The Proof-sheets of the Translation from 
my poor Life of Schiller affected me with 
various feelings ; among which, regret at the 
essential triviality of the Original was nowise 
wanting. I wrote the little book honestly 
enough, yet under too much constraint : it has 
not the free flow of a book, but the cold, 
buckram character of a College-exercise. The 

1 Correspondence between Goethe and Schiller. 


Translation, with two or three very unimportant 
mistakes of meaning, seems excellently done ; 
far better than such a work deserved. 

The FarbenleJire, which you are so good as 
offer me, I have never seen and shall thankfully 
accept and study, having long had a curiosity 
after it. Natural Philosophy, Optics among 
the other branches, was for many years my 
favourite, or rather my exclusive pursuit; a cir- 
cumstance which I must reckon of no little 
import, for good and evil, in my intellectual life. 
The mechanical style in which all these things 
are treated here, and in France, where my only 
teachers were, had already begun to sicken me ; 
when other far more pressing investigations of 
a humane interest altogether detached me from 
Mathematics, whether pure or applied. 1 I still 

1 Carlyle, in 1866, wrote: — "Perhaps it was mainly the 
accident that poor Leslie " (John Leslie, Professor of Mathe- 
matics in Edinburgh University), " alone of my Professors, had 
some genius in his business, and awoke a certain enthusiasm 
in me. For several years, from 1 8 1 3 onwards (perhaps seven 
in a//), ' Geometry ' shone before me as undoubtedly the noblest 
of all sciences ; and I prosecuted it (or mathematics generally) 
in all my best hours and moods, — though far more pregnant 
inquiries were rising in me, and gradually engrossing me, heart 
as well as head. So that, about 1820 or '21, I had entirely 


remember that it was the desire to read 
Werners Mineral ogical Doctrines in the origi- 
nal, that first set me on studying German ; 
where truly I found a mine, far different from 
any of the Freyberg ones ! Nevertheless my 
love of Natural Science still subsists, or might 
easily be resuscitated ; and various hints, which 
I have now and then had, of your method in 
such inquiries give me hope of great satisfac- 
tion in studying it. The Farbenlchre, which I 
think is very imperfectly known, or rather alto- 
gether misknown, in England, will be a highly 
acceptable present. 

This Letter is full of mere business details, 
and yet the most essential of these is still to 
come. A little packet, chiefly for your Ottilie, 
is getting ready, 1 and will be sent off one of 

thrown mathematics aside ; and, except in one or two brief 
spurts, lasting perhaps a couple of days, and more or less of a 
morbid nature, have never in the least regarded it farther." 

1 It contained, among other things, a Scotch ■ bonnet ' made 
by Mrs. Carlyle, and accompanied by the following friendly 
but unmusical quatrain : 

Scotland prides her in the " Bonnet Blue " 
That it brooks no stain in Love or War : 
Be it, on Ottilie's head, a token true 
Of my Scottish love to kind Weimar ! 
Craigenputtock, 14th December 1829. 


these days : it is also to contain the Sketches 
of our house and neighbourhood, such as you 
required ; and will come most probably by the 
Messrs. Parish of Hamburg, whose courtesy 
and punctuality in such matters I have often 
admired. I might mention also that Herr 
Herbig, Bookseller in Leipzig, is Agent for the 
Publishers of the Foreign Review (Messrs. 
Black, Young and Young, 2 Tavistock Street, 
Covent Garden, London), through whom books 
would reach me, by quick steam conveyance, 
at all seasons of the year ; yet, in truth, I know 
not whether with equal security, or how your 
communication with Leipzig may stand. 

In regard to my employments and manner 
of existence, literary and economic, I must not 
speak here. I am still but an Essayist, and long- 
ing more than ever to be a Writer in a far better 
sense. Meanwhile I do what I may ; and can- 
not complain of wanting audience, stolid as 
many of my little critics are and must be. I 
have written on Voltaire, on Novalis, and was 
this day correcting proof-sheets of a paper on 
Jean Paul, for the Foreign Review. I have some 


thoughts of writing a separate book on Luther, 
but whether this winter or not, is undecided. 

I delayed, three weeks, writing this Letter, 
till a proposal (from some London booksellers) 
of my composing what they call a History of 
German Literature, were either finally agreed 
upon, or finally abandoned : but as yet neither 
of the two has happened. In the event of my 
engaging with such a work, I mean to consult 
with Dr. Eckermann for help ; to whom, for his 
friendly Letter, I beg that my thanks and best 
regards may be offered. 

All else I reserve till the Packet go. We 
shall think of you daily, and ever with Love. 
May all good be with you ! 

I remain, your grateful Friend, 

Thomas Carlyle. 

XXIII. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Craigenputtock, Dumfries, 
lid December 1829. 

Respected Sir — The Packet, which I some 
time ago announced, at length sets out ; with 


true wishes on our part that it may find you 
happy and busy, and bring kind remembrances 
of Friends that love you. The Sketches of our 
House and its environment are moderately 
correct, and may serve the flattering purpose 
you meant them for ; as it is not the beauty of 
the Amulet, but its mere character as Amulet, 
that gives it worth. You will like the little 
pictures no worse, when I inform you that they 
are from the pencil of Mr. Moir, the Translator 
of Wallenstein, who paid us a visit in Autumn, 
and promises to see us again in Spring. In 
return for his workmanship, I presented him 
with the last of those four medals ; to which 
indeed, on other accounts, as a true admirer of 
your works he had a good right. He passed 
through Weimar, last Summer ; but unluckily 
at a time when you were absent : however, 
he purposes to return ere long, and make 
new sketches from the Rhine scenery ; and 
hopes, next time, to have better fortune in 

The portfolio is of my wife's manufacture, 
who sends you among other love-tokens a lock 


of her hair ; concerning which I am to say that, 
except to her Husband she never did the like to 
any man. She begs, however, and hopes, that 
you will send her, in return, a lock of your hair ; 
which she will keep among her most precious 
possessions, and only leave, as a rich legacy, to 
the worthiest that comes after her. For a 
heart that honestly loves you, I too hope that 
you will do so much. 

The Cowpers Poems you are to accept from 
me as a New-year's gift, the value of which 
must lie chiefly in the intention of the giver. 
Cowper was the last of our Poets of the Old 
School ; a man of pure genius, but limited and 
ineffectual ; as indeed his bodily health was too 
feeble had there been no other deficiency. He 
is still a great favourite, especially with the 
religious classes ; and bids fair to survive many 
a louder competitor for immortality. As his 
merit, such as it is, appears to be genuine, it 
will to your eye readily disclose itself. 

I have read the Briefwechsel a second time 
with no little satisfaction, and even to-day am 
sending off an Essay on Schiller, grounded on 



that Work, for the Foreign Review} It will 
gratify you to learn that a knowledge and 
appreciation of Foreign, especially of German, 
Literature, is spreading with increased rapidity 
over all the domain of the English tongue ; so 
that almost at the Antipodes, in New Holland 
itself, the wise of your country are by this time 
preaching their wisdom. I have heard lately 
that even in Oxford and Cambridge, our two 
English Universities, which have all along been 
regarded as the strongholds of Insular pride 
and prejudice, there is a strange stir in this 
matter. Your Niebuhr has found an able trans- 
lator in Cambridge; 2 and in Oxford two or 
three Germans already find employment as 
teachers ot their language ; the new light con- 
tained in which may well dazzle certain eyes. 
Of the benefits that must in the end result from 

1 This Essay appeared in Eraser's Magazine, No. XIV. 
(See Carlyle's Miscellanies, iii. 87.) 

2 Two able translators, Hare and Thirlwall, of Trinity 
College, both personally known to Carlyle in after years. It 
will be remembered that Archdeacon Hare was, without in- 
tending it, the cause of Carlyle's writing the Life of Sterling. 
The translation of Niebuhr's History of Rome, by Hare and 
Thirlwall, was published in 1828. 


all this no man can be doubtful : let nations, 
like individuals, but know one another and 
mutual hatred will give place to mutual help- 
fulness ; and instead of natural enemies, as 
neighbouring countries are sometimes called, 
we shall all be natural friends. 

That Historical View of German Literature, 
which I mentioned in my last letter, is now 
almost decided on ; and I hope in the course 
of next year to offer you a copy of some 
treatise on that subject. My knowledge, I feel 
too well, is limited enough ; but from a British 
writer, and by British readers, less will be ex- 
pected. Besides, it is the more recent, and 
comparatively a brief period that will chiefly 
interest us. 

Were this "Historical View" once off my 
hands, I still purpose to try something infinitely 
greater ! Alas, alas ! the huge formless Chaos 
is here, but no creative voice to say, " Let 
there be Light," and make it into a world. 

Some time ago we spent three weeks in 
Edinburgh ; warmly welcomed by old friends ; 
and looking not without interest on the current 


of many-coloured life, which here we may be 
said rather to listen to than to see. I found the 
Literary men of that city still active in their 
vocation ; and to me undeservedly kind and 
courteous : nevertheless, the general tone of 
their speculation was such as to make me 
revisit my solitude, when the time came, with 
little regret. The whole bent of British 
endeavour, both intellectual and practical, at 
this time, is towards Utility ; a creed which with 
you has happily had its day, but with us is now 
first rising into its full maturity. Great contro- 
versies and misunderstandings on this matter, 
are to be expected among us at no distant 

For the present, you are to figure your two 
Scottish Friends as embosom'd amid snow and 
"thick-ribbed ice;" yet secured against grim 
winter by the glow of bright fires ; and often 
near you in imagination ; nay, often thinking 
the very thoughts which were once yours, — for 
a little red volume is seldom absent from our 
parlour. By and by, we still trust to hear that 
all is well with you : the arrival of a Weimar 


letter ever makes a day of jubilee here. May 
all good be with you and yours ! 

I remain, always your affectionate Friend 
and Servant, Thqmas Carlyle 

Were it convenient, we would beg some 
similar Sketch of your Mansion at Weimar j 1 
concerning which I regularly question every 
Traveller, yet with too little effect. 

To Dr. Eckermann I still owe a letter ; 
which I mean ere long to pay, with increased 
advantage to myself. Please to assure him of 
my continued regard. 

XXIV. — Carlyle to Eckermann. 

Craigenputtock, Dumfries, 
10th March 1830. 

My dear Sir — I have long owed myself the 
pleasure of writing to you, and might be a little 
puzzled to say why it had been so long. Per- 
haps my chief reason was that a certain nego- 
tiation was in progress, touching some literary 

1 Goethe sent an engraving of his house to Carlyle. See 
infra, Appendix II., p. 326. 


work to be undertaken by me, on which I 
wished to communicate with you ; and so have 
waited, impatiently enough, till in the slow 
course of bibliopolic arrangements, I saw what 
turn matters were to take. The business, I 
believe, is now finally adjusted ; indeed, in a 
state of actual advance ; so that on this, as on 
all other topics, I can now address you without 

It is pity that Weimar lay so distant from 
Scotland ; with seas, and wide regions, to us 
all waste and unpeopled, intervening. No spot 
on this Globe is for me so significant at present ; 
as indeed it is but for their association with 
human Worth and Effort that one City is nobler 
than another, that all cities are not mere 
stones and mortar. I can understand the long 
journeys which Lovers of Wisdom were wont 
to undertake in old days to see with their own 
eyes some Teacher of Wisdom : all sights in 
the Earth are poor and meaningless compared 
with this. We still speculate here on a journey 
to Weimar, and a winter's residence there ; but 
the way is long, the issue after all but a luxury ; 


then foolish little matters still detain us here : 
thus, though the spirit is willing, the flesh is 
weak. One still looks for a luckier time ; and 
many a pretty waking dream, though at last it 
prove but a phantasm, will for years be worth 

We long much to hear news of you : how 
your venerable Poet wears his green old age ; 
how his and your labours are prospering. 
Scarcely any German traveller finds his way 
hither ; so that, except public notices, we are 
left mostly to hope and guess. Often I look 
into Stieler's picture, and think the mild deep 
eyes ought to answer me. But they are only 
ink on paper, and do not. 

About the 1st of last December we de- 
spatched a little box for Weimar, containing 
pencil-sketches of our House and environment, 
Books, and other trifles, among which, I believe, 
was something from my wife for Madame : but 
unluckily the frost set in directly after, the 
Elbe became unnavigable ; and the Edinburgh 
shippers gave little hope of the Packet leaving 
them till Spring. It was directed, as usual, to 


the care of Messrs. Parish in Hamburg. Pray 
notify this to Seiner Excellenz unless happily it 
be already in his hands. Of our deep unabated 
regard and love, I trust he needs no assurance. 

I requested the Editor of the Foreign Review 
to forward you some of my lucubrations, which 
you said you had not seen ; nevertheless I am 
afraid he has neglected it ; neither, I can warn 
you, is the loss very great. I was shocked to 
learn that poor Milliner was dead : the very 
post that brought me his version of my Play- 
wrights in his Mitternacht-Blatt, conveyed also 
those other tidings that the poor Jester was 
now " quite chapfallen." Alas, poor Yorick ! 
And why did / add another grain to his last 
load of suffering, already too heavy for him \ ! — 
Since then I have not cast one other glance 
at your Tartarus; but looked only at the 
Elysium, which is far more profitable. 

Of our English Literature at this moment, 
the two chief features seem to be our increased 

1 In his article on German Playwrights {Foreign Review, 
No. VI., 1829, see Miscellanies, vol. ii.), Carlyle had spoken with 
some severity of Milliner's Plays and of his Midnight Paper. 


and increasing attention to the Literature of 
neighbouring nations ; and the universal effort 
to render all sorts of knowledge popular, to 
accommodate our speculations, both in price 
and structure, to the largest possible number of 
readers. In regard to that first peculiarity, you 
already know of our two Foreign Reviews, both 
of which affect to be prospering ; and now 
further we have a Foreign Literary Gazette} 
published weekly in London, and which, though 
it is a mere steam-engine concern, managed by 
an utter Dummkopf solely for lucre, appears to 
meet with sale, so great is the curiosity, so 
boundless is the ignorance of men : dem 
Narrenkonig gehort die Welt, at least all the 
temporalities thereof. Our zeal for popularising, 
again, is to be seen on every side of us. To 
say nothing of our Societies for the Diffusion of 
useful Knowledge, with their sixpenny treatises, 
really very meritorious, we have, I know not 
how many Miscellanies, Family Libraries, 
Cabinet Cyclopedias, and so forth ; and these 
not managed by any literary Gibeonites, but 

1 Edited by Mr. William Jerdan. 


sometimes by the best men we have : Sir 
Walter Scott, for instance, is publishing a 
History of Scotland by one of these vehicles ; 
Thomas Moore is to write a History of Ireland 
for the same work. The other day, I may add, 
there came a letter to me from a quite new 
Brotherhood of that sort ; earnestly requesting 
a " Life of Goethe." Knowing my corre- 
spondent 1 as a man of some weight and respect- 
ability in Literature, I have just answered him 
that the making of Goethe known to England 
was a task which any Englishman might be 
proud of; but that, as for his Biography, the 
only rational plan, as matters stood, was to 
take what he had himself seen fit to impart on 
the subject ; and by proper commentary and 
adaptation, above all, by a suitable version, 
and not perversion, of what was to be trans- 
lated, enable an Englishman to read it with 
the eye of a German. If anything come of this 
proposal, and what, you shall by and by hear. 

But it is more than time that I should say 
a word about my History oj German Litera- 

1 Mr. G. R. Gleig, on behalf of Dr. Lardner. 


ture (if such can be the name of it), the task 
above alluded to, and which also is to form 
part of a joint-stock enterprise, the first of a 
whole series of Literary Histor-ies, French, 
Italian, Spanish, English Literature being all 
to be depicted in that " Cabinet Library " of 
theirs. I am to have four volumes, and have 
thought a good deal about the plan I am to 
follow. The first volume is to be antiquarian, 
I think ; to treat of the Nibelungenlied> the 
Minnesingers, Mastersingers, and so forth, and 
may perhaps end with Hans Sachs. The 
second will probably contain Luther and the 
Reformation Satirists, with Opitz and his 
school ; down as far as Thomasius, Gottsched, 
and the Swiss. The last two volumes must 
be devoted to your modern, indeed recent 
Literature, which is of all others the most 
important to us. I need not say how much 
any counsel of yours would oblige me in 
regard to this matter, many parts of which 
are still very dark to me. In particular, can 
you mention any reasonable Book in which 
the " New School " is exhibited ; what was 


its history, fairly stated, what its doctrines ; 
what in short was the meaning lying at the 
bottom of that boundless hubbub, which so 
often perplexes the stranger even yet with its 
echoes in your Literature ? Is G ruber's talk 
(in his Wieland) about the Xenienkrieg to be 
depended' on, or is it mostly babble ; and is 
there any other work that will throw light on 
that singular period ? The Briefwechsel, two 
volumes of which I have, is doubtless the 
most authentic of all documents : but still my 
understanding of it is far from sufficient. A 
few words from you might perhaps save me 
much groping ; neither will you grudge that 
trouble for me. Might I ask you to mention 
what you think in general the most remarkable 
epochs, and circumstances (Momente) of Ger- 
man Literature ? Indeed nothing that you can 
write on that subject will be otherwise than 
welcome to me. But, alas ! the sheet is done ; 
and I must so soon say Lebewohl / Pray do 
not linger in writing ; your news, too, will seem 
highly important to us. Lastly, if it be not 
troublesome : use the Roman handwriting ; 


the other is like a thick veil, requiring to be 
torn off first. 

With best wishes, ever faithfully yours, 

Th. Carlyle. 

Your German Philister, your Adelungs, 
Nicolais, etc. (of which sort we have plenty in 
England even now), and what figure their 
activity specially assumed, are also an object of 
great curiosity with me. We call them " Utili- 
tarians " here, and they are mostly political, 
and " Radical," or republican. 

My wife directs me to send her kind regards, 
and continued hope of one day seeing you. 
Pray employ me, if there is anything here in 
which I can serve you. 

XXV. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

\\Zth April 1830.] 

Das werthe Schatzkastlein, nachdem es 
durch den strengsten Winter vom Continent 
lange abgehalten worden, ist endlich um die 
Halfte Marz glucklich angelangt. 


Um von seinem Gehalt zu sprechen, erwahne 
zuerst der unschatzbaren Locke, die man wohl 
mit dem theuren Haupte verbunden mochte 
gesehen haben, die aber hier einzeln erblickt, 
mich fast erschreckt hatte. Der Gegensatz 
war zu auffallend ; denn ich brauchte meinen 
Schadel nicht zu beriihren, um zu wissen dass 
daselbst nur Stoppeln sich hervorthun ; es war 
nicht nbthig vor den Spiegel zu treten, um zu 
erfahren dass eine lange Zeitreihe ihnen ein 
missfarbiges Ansehen gegeben. Die Un- 
moglichkeit der verlangten Erwiederung fiel 
mir aufs Herz, und nothigte mich zu Gedanken 
deren man sich zu entschlagen pflegt. Am 
Ende aber blieb mir doch nichts tibrig als mich 
an der Vorstellung zu begnligen : eine solche 
Gabe sey dankbarlichst ohne Hoffnung irgend 
einer genligenden Gegengift anzunehmen. Sie 
soil auch heilig in der ihrer wtirdigen Brieftasche 
aufbewahrt bleiben, und nur das Liebenswiir- 
digste ihr zugesellt werden. 

Der Schottische elegante Turban hat, wie 
ich versichern darf, zu manchem Vergnug- 
lichen Gelegenheit gegeben. Seit vielen Jahren 


werden wir von den Einwohnern der drey 
Konigreiche besucht, welche gern einige Zeit 
lang bey uns verweilen und guter Gesellschaft 
geniessen mogen. Hierunter befinden sich 
zwar weniger Schotten, doch kann es nicht 
fehlen dass nicht noch das Andenken an einen 
solchen Landsmann sich in einem schonen 
Herzen so lebendig finde, um die National- 
Prachtmlitze, die Distel mit eingeschlossen, als 
einen wunschenswerthesten Schmuck anzusehen, 
und die glitige Senderin hatte sich gewiss gefreut 
das lieblichste Gesicht von der Welt darunter 
hervorgucken zu sehen. Ottilie aber dankt zum 
allerverbindlichsten, und wird, sobald unsre 
Trauertage voriiber sind, damit glorreich auf- 
zutreten nicht ermangeln. 

Lassen Sie mich nun eine nachste Gegen- 
sendung ankundigen, welche zum Juni als der 
giinstigsten Jahreszeit sich wohl wird zusammen 
gefunden haben. Sie erhalten : 

1. Das Exemplar Ihres tibersetzten Schil- 
lers, geschmuckt mit den Bildern Ihrer land- 
lichen Wohnung, begleitet von einigen Bogen in 
meiner Art, wodurch ich zugleich dem Biichlein 


offnen Eingang zu verschaffen, besonders aber 
die Communikation beyder Lander und Litera- 
turen lebhafter zu erregen trachte. Ich wtinsche 
dass diese nach Kenntniss des Publicums ange- 
wendeten Mittel Ihnen nicht missfallen, auch 
der Gebrauch, den ich von Stellen unsrer 
Correspondenz gemacht, nicht als Indiskretion 
moge gedeutet werden. Wenn ich mich in 
jtingeren Jahren vor dergleichen Mittheilungen 
durchaus gehutet, so ziemt es dem hoheren 
Alter auch solche Wege nicht zu verschmahen. 
Die giinstige Aufnahme des Schillerischen 
Briefwechsels gab mir eigentlich hiezu Anlass 
und Muth. Ferner finden Sie beygelegt : 

2. Die vier noch fehlenden Bande ge- 
dachter Briefe. Mogen Sie Ihnen als Zauber- 
wagen zu Diensten stehen, um sich in die 
damalige Zeit in unsere Mitte zu versetzen, wo 
es eine unbedingte Strebsamkeit gait, wo 
niemand zu fordern dachte und nur zu verdienen 
bemuht war. Ich habe mir die vielen Jahre 
her den Sinn, das Geftihl jener Tage zu er- 
halten gesucht und hoffe es soil mir fernerhin 


3. Eine funfte Sendung meiner Werke liegt 
sodann bey, worin sich wohl manches unter- 
haltende, unterrichtende, belehrende, brauchbar 
anzuwendende finden wird. Man gestehe zu 
dass es auch ideelle Utilitarier gebe, und es sollte 
mir sehr zur Freude gereichen wenn ich mich 
darunter zahlen diirfte. Noch eine Lieferung, 
dann ist vorerst das beabsichtigte Ganze voll- 
bracht, dessen Abschluss zu erleben ich mir kaum 
zu hoffen erlaubte. Nachtrage giebt es noch hin- 
reichend ; meine Papiere sind in guter Ordnung. 

4. Ein Exemplar meiner Farbenlehre und 
der dazu gehorigen Tafeln soil auch beygefugt 
werden ; ich wiinsche, dass Sie den zweyten, 
als den historischen Theil, zuerst lesen. Sie 
sehen da die Sache herankommen, stocken, 
sich aufklaren, und wieder verdlistern. So- 
dann aber ein Bestreben nach neuem Lichte 
ohne allgemeinen Erfolg. Alsdann wiirde die 
erste Halfte des ersten Theils, als die didactische 
Abtheilung eine allgemeine Vorstellung geben 
wie ich die Sache angegriffen wiinsche. Frey 
lich ist ohne Anschauung der Experimente 
hier nicht durchzukommen ; wie Sie es mit 



der polemischen Abtheilung halten wollen und 
konnen, wird sich alsdann ergeben. 1st es mir 
moglich, so lege, besonders fur Sie, ein ein- 
leitendes Wort bey. 

5. Sagen Sie mir etwa zunachst wie Sie die 
deutsche Literatur bey den Ihrigen einleiten 
wollen ; ich eroffne Ihnen gern meine Gedanken 
tuber die Folge der Epochen. Man braucht nicht 
iiberall ausfiihrlich zu seyn : gut aber ist's auf 
manches vorlibergehende Interessante wenig- 
stens hinzudeuten, um zu zeigen dass man es 
kennt. Dr. Eckermann macht mit meinem 
Sohn eine Reise gegen Sliden und bedauert, 
nicht wie er gewiinscht hatte, diesmal bey- 
hulflich seyn zu konnen. Ich werde gern 
wie obgesagt seine Rolle vertreten. Diesen 
Sommer bleib' ich zu Hause und sehe bis 
Michael Geschafte genug vor mir. 

Gedenken Sie mit Ihrer lieben Gattin 
unsrer zum besten und empfangen wiederholten 
herzlichen Dank flir die schone Sendung. 

Treu angehorig, 

y. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, den 13 Apr. 1830. 



[13M April 1830.] 
The precious casket, after a long delay in 
reaching the Continent owing to the extreme 
severity of the winter, at last arrived safely 
about the middle of March. 

As to its contents, I will mention first the 
incomparable lock of hair, which one would 
indeed have liked to see along with the dear 
head, but which, when it came to light by 
itself here, almost alarmed me. The contrast 
was too striking ; for I did not need to touch 
my skull to become aware that only stubble 
was left there, nor was it necessary for me 
to go to the looking-glass to learn that a long 
flight of time had given it a discoloured look. 
The impossibility of making the desired return 
smote my heart, and forced thoughts upon me 
which one usually prefers to banish. In the 
end, however, nothing remained for me but to 
content myself with the reflection that such 
a gift was to be most thankfully received with- 


out hope of any adequate requital. For the 
rest it shall be kept sacred in the portfolio 
which is worthy of it, and only the most 
cherished objects shall bear it company. 

The elegant Scotch Bonnet, I can assure you, 
has given much pleasure. For many years we 
have been visited by inhabitants of the Three 
Kingdoms, who like to remain with us for a 
time, and enjoy good society. Among these, 
indeed, there are comparatively few Scotchmen ; 
yet there cannot fail to be preserved in some 
fair heart here so lively an image of one of your 
countrymen that she must regard the splendid 
national head-dress, including the thistle, as a 
most pleasing ornament ; and the kind donor 
would certainly be delighted to see the most 
charming face in the world peering out from 
beneath it. Ottilie sends her most grateful 
thanks, and will not fail, as soon as our days of 
mourning are over, 1 to make a glorious appear- 
ance in it. 

Let me now announce the despatch of 
another parcel in return, which will probably 

1 For the Dowager Grand Duchess (died February 1830). 


be put together by June, as the most favourable 
time of the year. You will receive : — 

1 . A copy of the Translation of your Schiller, 
embellished with the pictures of your country 
dwelling and accompanied by a few pages of 
my own, in which I endeavour to procure a 
good reception for the little book, and especi- 
ally to awaken a more lively intercourse between 
the two Countries and their Literatures. I 
trust that you may not disapprove of the means 
I have employed, in accordance with my know- 
ledge of the public, and that you will not regard 
the use I have made of some portions of our 
correspondence as an indiscretion. Although in 
my earlier years I was at all times careful to 
avoid publishing matters of the kind, it is fitting 
that in my old age I should not despise even 
such means. What especially inclined and en- 
couraged me towards this course was your 
favourable reception of the Schiller Corre- 
spondence. Further, you will find enclosed : 

2. The four volumes, still wanting, of these 
said Letters. May they serve as a magic chariot 
to transport you into our circle at that period 


of frank and ingenuous striving, when no one 
thought of making claims, but only endeavoured 
to be deserving. I have all these years sought 
to preserve in me the spirit and feeling of those 
days, and I trust that in the future, too, I may 
succeed in doing so. 

3. A fifth instalment of my Works is also 
enclosed, in which may be found many a thing 
that is entertaining, improving, instructive and 
capable of practical application. If you will 
admit that there may be idealist Utilitarians 
also, I should be very glad to be allowed to 
reckon myself as one of them. One more Section 
and the intended whole will be complete, a con- 
summation which I scarcely allowed myself to 
hope I should live to see. There will be no 
lack of addenda. My papers are in good order. 

4. A copy of my Farbenlehre, with the 
plates belonging to it, will accompany the other 
books. I wish you would first read the second, 
that is, the historical part. You see there the 
subject approaching, halting, becoming clear, 
and again growing dim ; then an attempt to 
obtain new light, without any general success. 


After this the first half of the first part, that 
is, the didactic, would give you a general idea 
of the way in which I wish the matter to be 
apprehended. Unless, however, the experi- 
ments can be seen, this part cannot be fully 
understood. You will then see how you like the 
polemic portion, and what you can make of it. 
If possible, I will add, for your especial behoof, 
some introductory words. 

5. Tell me before long how you propose 
to introduce German literature amongst your 
people, and I will gladly give you my thoughts 
on the sequence of its epochs. One does not 
need to enter into detail about every matter, 
but it is well at least to touch upon many a 
thing of transitory interest, to show that one 
is aware of it. Dr. Eckermann is making a 
journey southwards with my son, and regrets 
that he cannot be of use at present, as he had 
wished. I will gladly, as I have said, be his 
proxy. I am going to remain at home this 
summer, and I see before me plenty of work 
until Michaelmas. 

I beg you and your dear wife to hold us in 


kindliest remembrance, and to accept our re- 
peated and cordial thanks for your beautiful 

With sincere attachment, 

J. W. v. Goethe. 
Weimar, 13M April 1830. 

XXVI. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Craigenputtock, Dumfries, 
23d May 1830. 

The Weimar letter, now as ever the most 
welcome that could arrive here, reached us, in 
due course, some two weeks ago. We rejoice 
to learn that you are still well and busy, still 
gratified with our love for you, and still sending 
over the Ocean a kind thought to us in our 
remote home. This fair relation and inter- 
course with what we have most cause to 
venerate on Earth seems one of the strangest 
things in our Life ; which, however, is all built 
on wonder : Ce que f admire le plus cest de me 
voir 1 ci. 

I know not whether I should mention the 


sort of hope which has again arisen of our even 
seeing you in person one day : that long- 
cherished project of a visit to Germany now 
assumes some faint shape of possibility ; in 
which pilgrimage Weimar, the grand Sanctuary, 
without which indeed Deutschland were but as 
other Lands to us, would nowise be forgotten. 
But it is better to check such Day-dreams than 
encourage them ; the impediments and counter- 
chances are so many, as Time, which brings 
Roses, 1 brings also far other products. Happy 
it is, meanwhile, that whether we ever meet in 
the body or not, we have already met you in 
spirit, which union can never be parted, or 
made of no effect. Here in our Mountain 
Solitude, you are often an inmate with us ; and 
can whisper wise lessons and pleasant tales in 
the ear of the Lady herself. She spends many 
an evening with you, and has done all winter, 
greatly to her satisfaction. One of her last 
performances was the Deutschen Ausgewan- 
derten, and that glorious Makrcken, a true 
Universe of Imagination; in regard to the 

1 Die Zeit bringt Rosen, is an old German proverb. 


manifold, inexhaustible significance of which 
(for the female eye guessed a significance under 
it), I was oftener applied to for exposition than 
I could give it ; and at last, to quiet impor- 
tunities, was obliged to promise that I would 
some day write a commentary on it, as on one 
of the deepest, most poetical things even 
Goethe had ever written. 1 Nay, looking abroad, 
I can further reflect with pleasure that thou- 
sands of my countrymen, who had need enough 
of such an acquaintance, are now also beginning 
to know you : of late years, the voice of 
Dulness, which was once loud enough on this 
matter, has been growing feebler and feebler ; 
so that now, so far as I hear, it is altogether 
silent, and quite a new tone has succeeded it. 
On the whole, Britain and Germany will not 
always remain strangers ; but rather, like two 
Sisters that have been long divided by distance 
and evil tongues, will meet lovingly together, 
and find that they are near of Kin. 

1 " The Tale " was translated, and, with a commentary, 
published in Eraser's Magazine •, No. XXXIII., 1832. See 
Carlyle's Miscellanies, vol. iv., Appendix. 


Since you are friendly enough to offer me 
help and countenance in my endeavours that 
way, let me lose no time in profiting thereby. 
In regard to that History of German Liter attire, 
I need not say, for it is plain by itself, that no 
word of yours can be other than valuable. 
Doubtless it were a high favour, could you 
impart to me any summary of that great subject, 
in the structure and historical sequence and 
coherence it has with you : your views, whether 
from my point of vision or not, whether con- 
tradictory of mine, or confirmatory, could not 
fail to be instructive. For your guidance in 
this charitable service, perhaps my best method 
will be to explain, as clearly as I can here, 
what plan my Book specially follows, so far as 
it is yet written, or decidedly shaped in my 

Volume First, which was finished and sent 
to press a few days ago, 1 opens with some 
considerations on the great and growing 
importance of Literature ; the value of Literary 
commerce with other nations ; therefore of 

1 It was not printed. See infra, pp. 207, 208. 


Literary Histories, which forward this : then 
some sketch of the method to be followed in a 
Literary History of Germany, where so much 
is yet altogether unknown to us, and only some 
approximation to a History is possible for the 
present. Next comes a chapter on the old 
Germans of Tacitus, the Northern Immigra- 
tions (Volkerwanderung), and the primitive 
national character of this People; the chief 
features of which are Valour (Tapferkeit) and 
meditative Depth ; not forgetting, at the same 
time, our own Saxon origin, and claims, by 
general brotherhood and in virtue of so many 
Hengists and Alfreds, to a share in that praise. 
Then something of the German Traditions ; of 
their Language as the most indestructible of 
Traditions, whereby Ulfilas and his Bible come 
to be mentioned : further, of their ancient 
Superstitions, and still existing Volksniahrchen, 
with a little specimen of them. Then of long- 
written Traditions ; of the Heldenbuch and 
Nibelungen Lied, with their old environment 
of Fiction, looked at only from afar : especially 
a long chapter on the Nibelungen, already an 


object of curiosity here. The last chapter is 
entitled the Minnesingers, and looks back 
briefly to the time of Charlemagne and forward 
to that of Rodolf von Hapsburg ; endeavour- 
ing to delineate the chivalrous spirit of the 
Swabian Era ; and to show that here really 
was a Poetic Period, though a feeble, simple 
and young one ; man being now for the first 
time inspired with an Infinite Idea, having now 
for the first time seen that he was a Man. — 
This is all I have yet brought to paper, and I 
fear it is worth little. 

Next follows what I might denominate a 
Didactic Period, wherein figure Hugo von 
Trimberg, the author of Reinecke Fucks, and 
Sebastian Brandt; it reaches its culmination 
and rises to a poetical degree under Luther 
and Hutten ; then again sinks, so far as 
Literature is concerned, into Theological 
Disputation, or mere Grammatical and Super- 
ficial Refinement, through many a Tkomasius 
and Gottsched, down to utter unbelief and 
sensualism, when Poetry, except in accidental 
tones, foreign in that age, has died away, and 


become impossible. Of such accidental appear- 
ances I might reckon Opitz and his School the 
principal ; in whose poetry, however, I can find 
little inspiration ; at best some parallel to that 
of our own Pope ; as Hoffmannswaldau and 
Lohenstein, perhaps with far less talent, 
resemble our Dryden. How this is to be 
grouped into masses, and presented in full 
light, I do not yet see clearly : however, I must 
force it all into the second volume, and leaving 
Bodmer and Breitinger to fight out their 
quarrel with Altvater Gottsched as they may, 
be prepared to begin my third volume with 
Lessing and Wieland. 

Lessing I could fancy as standing between 
two Periods, an earnest Sceptic, struggling to 
work himself into the Region of Spiritual Truth, 
and often from some Pisgah- height obtain- 
ing brave glimpses of that Promised Land. 
Wieland, with many a Hagedorn, Rabener, 
Gellert, co-operate, each in their degree ; and 
so the march proceeds ; till under you and 
Schiller, I should say, a Third grand Period had 
evolved itself, as yet fairly developed in no 


other Literature, but full of the richest pros- 
pects for all : namely, a period of new 
Spirituality and Belief; in the midst of old 
Doubt and Denial ; as it were, a new revela- 
tion of Nature, and the Freedom and Infinitude 
of Man, wherein Reverence is again rendered 
compatible with Knowledge, and Art and 
Religion are one. This is the Era which 
chiefly concerns us of England, as of other 
nations ; the rest being chiefly remembrance, 
but this still present with us. How I am to 
bring it out will require all consideration. 
Though the most familiar to me of any other 
department, I can yet see only that it will fill 
my last two Volumes, and to good purpose, if I 
can handle it well ; but the divisions, and 
subordination and co-ordination of such a 
multiplicity of objects : the Sorrows of Wert her 
with the Kraftm'dnner y the Critical Philosophy, 
the Xenien and what not, will occasion no little 
difficulty ; or rather, in the long run, I shall be 
obliged to stop where means fail, and so to 
leave much unrepresented, and the rest com- 
bined in what order it can get into. 


By this long description you will see how 
matters stand with me, and where a helpful 
word would most profit. Innumerable ques- 
tions I could ask ; for example, about the 
Xenienkrieg, and your Nicolais and other 
Utilitarians with their fortune among you ; 
which sect, though under a British shape, is 
at this day boisterous enough here ; whose 
downfall, sure to come by and by, it were 
pleasant to prophesy. But perhaps some out- 
line of your own General Scheme of German 
Literary History, and the succession of its 
epochs, would in the limits we are here con- 
fined to, prove most available. It is almost 
shameful to occupy your time with poor work 
of mine : otherwise, as I said, no word that you 
could speak on this matter could be useless. 
We expect, not without impatience, that pro- 
mised Packet, in which so many interesting 
matters and kind memorials are to lie for us. 
My wife unites with me in friendliest wishes to 
you and yours. May the Summer which is 
now, after the wild snow-months, opening its 
blossoms, even in these mountains, find you 


happy, and leave you happy ! Friends you will 
have in many countries and in many centuries : 
few men have been permitted to finish such a 
task as yours. — Believe me ever, affectionately 
your Scholar and Servant, 

Thomas Carlyle. 

XXVI 1. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

Weimar, den 6 Juni 1830. 

Ihr werther Brief, mein Theuerster, vom 
23 May, hat gerade nur 14 Tage gelaufen um 
zu mir zu kommen, wodurch ich aufgeregt 
werde alsobald zu antworten, weil ich hoffen 
kann der meinige werde Sie an einem schonen 
Junitage begriissen. Es ist wirklich hochst 
erfreulich dass die Einrichtungen unsrer gesit- 
teten Welt, nach und nach, die Entfernung 
zwischen Gleichgesinnten, Wohldenkenden ge- 
schaftig vermindern, wogegen wir derselben 
manches nachsehen konnen. 

Zuvorderst also will ich aussprechen, dass an 
dem Plane, wie Sie die Geschichte der deutschen 
Literatur zu behandeln gedenken, nichts zu 



erinnern ist, und dass ich nur hie und da 
einige Lticken finde, auf die ich Ihre Auf- 
merksamkeit zu richten gedenke. Durchaus 
aber werden Sie Sich liberzeugen dass die 
erste Edition eines solchen Werkes nur als 
Concept zu betrachten ist, welches in den Fol- 
genden immer mehr gereinigt und bereichert 
hervortreten soil ; Sie haben Ihr ganzes Leben 
daran zu thun, und erfreuen Sich gewiss 
eines entschiedenen Vortheils flir Sich und 

Zu Forderung dieses Ihres Zweckes, werde 
ich die Absendung eines intentionirten Kast- 
chens sogleich besorgen, welches die gute 
Jahreszeit bald genug Ihnen zubringen wird. 
Es enthalt : 

1. Vorlesungen liber die Geschichte der 
deutschen National- Literatur von Dr. Ludwig 
Wackier, 2 Theile, 181 8. 

Dieses Werk schenkt' ich, als hochst brauch- 
bar, im Jahre 1824 dem guten Dr. Eckermann ; 
dieser, der so eben mit meinem Sohne nach 
Sliden gereist ist, lasst mir solches als eine 
Gabe flir Sie zuriick, mit den besten Grlissen 


und Segnungen. Ich sende es, mit um so mehr 
Zufriedenheit, weil- ich iiberzeugt bin dass Sie, 
diesem Faden folgend, nicht irren konnen. Von 
dem meisten Einzelnen haben Sie Sich ja schon 
eigene Ueberzeugungen ausgebildet, mogen Sie 
liber dieses und jenes nachfragen, so werde 
suchen treulich Antwort zu geben. 

2. Ein hochst wichtiges Heftchen, unter 
dem Titel : Ueber Werden und Wirken der 
Literatur, zunachst auf Deutschlands Literatur 
unserer Zeit, von Dr. Ludwig Wackier, Breslau 
1829. Es giebt zu mancherley Betrachtungen 
Anlass wie derselbe Mann, nach 10 Jahren, 
sich wieder liber Gegenstande klirzlich aus- 
druckt, deren Betrachtung er sein ganzes Leben 
gewidmet. Durch obengemeldete zwey Bande 
werden Sie volkommen in den Stand gesetzt, 
das was er hier gewollt und ausgesprochen, 
aufzunehmen und zu benutzen. 

3. Vier Bande meiner Correspondenz mit 
Schiller, und also das Ganze abgeschlossen. 
Dabey sey Ihnen vollig tiberlassen es, nach 
Ihrer reinen und wohl empfindenden Weise 
sich zuzueignen und den Freunden, die sich 


hier unterhalten, noch immer naher zu treten. 
In der Folge sende ich manches von der freund- 
lichen und hochstsinnigen Aufnahme, welcher 
diese Bande in Deutschland sich erfreuen ; auch 
wird Ihnen daraus zu Ihren Zwecken gar 
manches deutlich werden. 

4. Zwey Bande meiner Farbenlehre, mit 
einem Hefte Tafeln. Auch diese werden 
Ihnen nicht ohne Frucht seyn. Das Werk ist 
gar zu sehr Fleisch von meinem Fleisch und 
Bein von meinem Bein, als dass es Ihnen 
nicht anmuthen sollte. Sagen Sie mir einiges 
daruber. Das Allgemeine passt gewiss in 
Ihre Denkweise, wtinschten Sie wegen des 
Besondern einige Aufklarung, so will ich 
suchen sie zu geben. 

5. Sie finden ferner in dem Kastchen den 
Abschluss der Uebersetzung Ihres Leben 
Schillers ; die Herausgabe hat sich verzogert, 
und ich wollte, dem Verleger so wie der Sache 
zu Nutz, das Werklein eigens aufputzen ; dem 
Publicum hab ich es gewiss recht gemacht, 
wenn Sie es nur verzeihen. 

Das Titelkupfer stellt Ihre Wohnung dar in 


der Nahe, die Titel vignette dasselbe [sic] in der 
Feme. Nach den gesandten Zeichnungen, 
wie ich hoffe, so gestochen dass es auch in 
England nicht missfallen kann. Aussen auf 
dem Hefte sieht man vorn Schiller's Wohnung 
in Weimar, auf der Rlickseite ein Garten- 
hauschen, das er sich selbst erbaute, urn sich 
von seiner Familie, von aller Welt zu trennen. 
Wenn er sich daselbst befand, durfte Niemand 
herantreten. Es war auch kaum fur einen 
Schreibtisch Platz. Sehr leicht gebaut, drohte 
es in der Folge zu verfallen und ward 
abgetragen ; versteht sich nachdem er den 
Garten weggegeben und nach Weimar gezo- 
gen war. 1 

Nun aber ware noch manches zu sagen von 
einem Vorwort das ich dazu geschrieben, doch 
wird es besser seyn Sie selbst, wenn Sie es 
gelesen, empfinden und urtheilen zu lassen, ob 
ich des Guten zu viel gethan, oder ob mir das 
Zweckmassige gelungen sey. In jedem Falle 
war nothig zu interessiren und aufzuregen. 
Was weiter erfolgen kann, erwarten wir, was 

1 See infra, p. 204 n. 


weiter zu thun ist, seh ich ziemlich schon 

Ihrer lieben Gattin das Allerfreundlichste ! 
Durch die ubersendete Silhuette [sic] ist sie uns 
schon viel naher getreten ; so viel vermag der 
genaue Schatten des edlen Wirklichen ! Mbge 
Sie nun auch uns das Bildniss Ihres Gemahls 
auf gleiche Weisse [sic] senden. Es freut mich 
dass jenes famose Mahrchen auch dort seine 
Wirkung nicht verfehlt. Es ist ein Kunststuck 
das zum zweytenmale schwerlich gelingen wurde. 
Eine geregelte Einbildungskraft fordert un- 
widerstehlich den Verstand auf, ihr etwas 
Gesetzliches und Folgerechtes abzugewinnen, 
womit er nie zu Stande kommt. Indessen 
habe ich doch zwey Auslegungen, die ich 
aufsuchen und, wo moglich, dem Kastchen 
beylegen will. 

Da ich nun, um the single sheet nicht zu 
liberschreiten, auch auf die aussere Seite des 
Blatts gelangt bin, so will ich diesen Raum 
noch benutzen um folgendes zu melden. Gleich 
nach Abgang des ersten Kastchens, welcher 
bald erfolgen soil, bereite sogleich ein neues 


vor, in welchem Sie denn die Uebersetzung 
Ihres Schillerischen Lebens und die siebente 
Lieferung meiner Werke erhalten sollen, worin 
enthalten sind 1. Tag-und Jahreshefte, Erganz- 
ung meiner sonstigen Bekenntnisse 2 Bande. 

2. Recensionen und einiges Aeltere 1 Band. 

3. Cellini 2 Bde. Was indessen noch zu 

erinnern ware, soil in dem Kastchen selbst 

bemerkt werden. 1 Mit dem Wunsch dass 

Gegenwartiges Sie in heitern Tagen und guter 

Gesundheit treffen moge, schliesse ich mit 

Versicherung treuster, unwandelbarer Theil- 


J. W. v. Goethe. 

Abgesandt, den 7 Juni 1830. 

Eine unvergleichliche schwarze Haarlocke, 
veranlasst mich noch ein Blattchen beyzulegen 
und mit wahrhaftem Bedauern zu bemerken : 
dass die verlangte Erwiederung leider unmog- 
lich ist. Kurz und missfarbig, alles Schmuckes 
entbehrend, muss das Alter sich begnugen wenn 
sich dem Innern noch irgend eine Bliite aufthut, 
indem die aussere verschwunden ist. Ich sinne 

1 See Appendix II. p. 324. 


schon auf irgend ein Surrogat, ein solches zu 
finden hat mir aber noch nicht gllicken wollen. 
Meine schonsten Grlisse der wlirdigen Gattin. 

Moge das K'dstchen gliicklich angekommen seyn ! 



Weimar, 6th Jtine 1830. 

Your valued letter, my dearest Sir, of the 
23d of May, took only fourteen days in coming, 
and this incites me to answer immediately, 
since I can hope that mine may still greet you 
on a lovely June day. It is certainly highly 
gratifying that the distance between well dis- 
posed persons of a like turn of mind is being 
steadily diminished, owing to the arrangements 
of our civilised world, in return for which we 
may excuse much that is amiss, in it. 

First of all I will declare that with re- 
spect to your proposed plan of treating the 
History of German Literature there is no 
alteration to be suggested, and that I only 
find a few gaps here and there, to which 
I mean to call your attention. You should, 


however, be thoroughly convinced that the 
first edition of such a book is to be con- 
sidered only as a first sketch, which will be 
enriched and made more correct in every suc- 
cessive edition. You have your whole life to 
work at it, and may certainly rejoice in a positive 
advantage from this to yourself and to others. 

In furtherance of this object of yours, I will 
immediately set about the despatching of a 
parcel intended for you, which the favourable 
time of the year will bring you soon enough. 
It contains : 

1. Lectures on the History of German 
National Literature, by Dr. Ludwig Wachler, 
2 parts, 1 8 18. 

This work I presented in 1824 as a most 
useful one, to good Dr. Eckermann ; 1 he, 
having now gone on a journey to the south 
with my son, left it behind with me, as a 

1 On the inside of the cover of it is pasted a note, in 
Eckermann's hand : " Ein mir sehr theures Geschenk von 
Goethe. Sonntag Mittag d. 4 Januar 1824, aus seinen lieben 
Handen empfangen." [A very precious gift from Goethe to 
me. Received from his dear hands, Sunday, at midday, 4 
January 1824.] 


gift for you, with his kindest regards and good 
wishes. I send it with the greater satisfaction, 
because I am sure that in following this clew 
you cannot go wrong. You have indeed 
already formed your own convictions in regard 
to most particulars, but should you wish to 
inquire about any special matter, I will try to 
answer you faithfully. 

2. A most important little tract, bearing 
the title Ueber Werden und Wirken der 
Liter atur (Concerning the Growth and In- 
fluence of Literature), especially of the German 
Literature of our day, by Dr. Ludwig Wachler, 
Breslau, 1829. There is occasion for a variety 
of reflections on the way in which the same 
man, after an interval of ten years, again briefly 
expresses himself upon matters to the con- 
sideration of which he has devoted his whole 
life. By means of the above-mentioned two 
volumes you will be fully enabled to appreciate 
and to profit by the drift and substance of his 
later work. 

3. Four Volumes of my Correspondence with 
Schiller, which complete the book. These I 


simply hand over to you, that you may make 
them your own, according to your usual clear 
and sympathetic way, and may draw still nearer 
to the friends who are here conversing together. 
By and by I will send you many of the friendly 
and exceedingly thoughtful notices which these 
volumes have had the good fortune to call forth 
in Germany ; you will moreover get out of them 
a great many hints, useful for your purpose. 

4. Two volumes of my Farbenlehre with a 
set of plates. These again will not be un- 
profitable to you. The Work is indeed too 
much flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone 
not to create in you a friendly interest. Say 
something to me about it. The general view 
will certainly fall in with your way of think- 
ing ; should you wish an explanation on any 
particular point, I will try and give it to 

5. Further you will find in the little box 
the last sheets of the translation of your Life of 
Schiller. The publication has been delayed, 
and I wished to make the little work especially 
pretty, for the sake of the publisher as well as 


for its own. I have certainly pleased the public ; 
I only hope you will excuse it. 

The frontispiece represents your house from 
a near point of view, the vignette on the title- 
page, the same from a distance, — I hope, so 
engraved from the drawings which you sent, that 
they cannot fail to please in England also. 
Outside, on the front cover, is a view of Schiller's 
house in Weimar ; and on the cover at the 
back, a little Garden-house [at Jena] which he 
himself built in order that he might with- 
draw from his family and all the world. When 
he was there, no one was allowed to enter. 
Besides there was scarcely room for a writing- 
table in it. It was so very slightly built that it 
threatened afterwards to fall to ruin, and was 
pulled down ; but this was after he had given 
up the garden and moved to Weimar. 1 

There might still be much to say about a 
preface I have written for it, but it will be better 

1 For a translation of Goethe's Introduction and Dedication 
to the Leben ScM/ers, see infra, p. 299 (Appendix I.). For 
the views of Craigenputtock, of Schiller's house at Weimar 
and of his Garden-house at Jena, see Carlyle's Life of Schillei 
(Library edition, 1869), Appendix II. 


to leave it to your own feelings, and when you 
have read it, you will judge whether I have 
overdone the matter, or have succeeded in doing 
only what is suitable for the purpose. In any 
case it was necessary to excite interest and to 
arouse attention. We shall await what further 
may ensue ; what is to be done further, I fore- 
see tolerably well. 

To your dear wife my most friendly greet- 
ings. By means of the silhouette, she has come 
much nearer to us ; such the power of the noble 
original's veritable shadow ! May she now send 
us such another portrait of her husband ! I am 
glad that famous M'dhrchen, there also, does not 
fail in its effect. It is a piece of legerdemain 
which would hardly succeed a second time. 
A normal imagination irresistibly demands that 
reason should extract from it something logical 
and consistent, which reason never succeeds in 
doing. However, I possess two interpreta- 
tions, which I will seek out, and if possible 
send in the little box. 

Since I have now, in order not to exceed " the 
single sheet," reached the outside page, I shall 


still make use of this space to communicate to you 
the following further information. Immediately 
upon the departure of the first little box, which 
will be very soon, I shall at once get ready 
another, in which you will receive the translation 
of your Life of Schiller and the seventh Section of 
my Works, which contains, 1. Tag-und Jahres- 
hefte (the completion of my former Confessions) 
in two volumes ; 2. Reviews and some older 
Pieces, one volume ; 3. Cellini, two volumes. 
What more may still be thought of shall be 
noted, and sent in the little box itself. 1 In the 
hope that this letter may greet you in peaceful 
days and in good health, I conclude, with the 
assurance of my most faithful and unalterable 

' ■ P y» J. W. v. Goethe. 

(Sent ytkjtme 1830.) 

A peerless lock of black hair impels me to 
add still a little sheet, and with true regret to 
remark that the desired return is, alas, impos- 
sible. Short and discoloured and devoid of all 
charm, old age must be content if any flowers 
1 See Appendix II. p. 324. 


at all will still blossom in the inner man when 
the outward bloom has vanished. I am already 
seeking for some substitute, but have not yet 
been lucky enough to find one. My warmest 
greetings to your esteemed wife. 

I hope the little box has arrived safe ! 


XXVIII. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Craigenputtock, Dumfries, 
3u/ August 1830. 

Dear and honoured Sir — A letter, which, 
as you expected, was welcomed by us on a 
bright June day ; and some six weeks after- 
wards, a Packet containing Books and other 
Valuables, the whole of which arrived in perfect 
order, — are two new kindnesses on your part 
which still remain to be acknowledged. This 
grateful duty I have delayed till now, as I 
wished, before writing, to have something 
definite to say about the bibliopolic fate of that 
History of German Literature, in which you are 
pleased to take an interest, and over the Publi- 
cation of which an evil star had for some time, 


though as yet with uncertain aspects, appeared- 
to rule. That projected Series of Literary 
Histories has fallen to the ground, no proper 
hands, for most departments of it, having 
showed themselves : in consequence the book- 
sellers have grown languid ; the Editor, 1 a well- 
meaning, but ineffectual person (late Editor of 
the Foreign Review, which has now again 
merged itself in the Foreign Quarterly), has 
not only mourned by those streams of Babel, 
but actually hung his harp on the willows, that 
is to say, abandoned Literature altogether, and 
is now struggling to be elected Member of 
Parliament for some " rotten borough " in 
Kent; whereby the whole Literary- History 
concern lies in a state of fatal stagnation. 
After some correspondence and exertion, I 
have succeeded in extricating my own poor 
Manuscript from such ungainly neighbourhood, 
with intent to reposit it quietly in my drawer, 
where, according to all appearance, it may now 
lie for an indefinite period. 

Neither, now that the trouble of it is over, 

1 See supra, p. 86 n. 


do I much regret this arrangement : the work 
itself may profit by a keeping till the ninth 
year ; and for my own part, as my Name was 
to have stood on the title-page, I cannot but 
rejoice, so far as that goes, that my first pro- 
fessed appearance in Literature may now take 
place under some less questionable character 
than that of a Compiler ; being ambitious, one 
day, of far higher honours. It is true, as you 
say somewhere, and it ought ever to be borne 
in mind, that " an Artist in doing anything does 
All : " nevertheless how few are Artists in this 
sense ; and till one knows that he cannot be a 
Mason, why should he publicly hire himself as 
Hodman ! 

For the rest, I am about finishing the 
Book ; at least, putting it into such a shape 
that it can be published at any future period. 
Within the space of a volume and half, I had 
got down, in a continuous narrative, to the 
Reformation : a hasty section would carry me 
to Lessing's day ; after which I had determined, 
on maturer calculation of my means and aim, 
to treat the rest in a fragmentary and rhapsodic 



method ; singling out from the Mass, which is 
too vast and confused for me to shape into 
History, the main summits and figures, and 
dwelling largely on these as individual objects ; 
whereby, to an attentive reader, some imperfect 
yet not untrue image of the so chaotic whole 
might at length present itself. Separate 
Essays on various personages of that period, 
from the very highest down to a far lower 
grade, I have already written ; to which from 
time to time I purpose to add others : so that 
the work is left in a growing state ; and when 
concluded, and knit up by some general con- 
siderations, retrospective and prospective, will 
one day set before my countrymen a full view 
of all that I have thought or guessed on this to 
me so important subject. The present under- 
taking once fairly put to a side, as it now nearly 
is, I must forthwith betake me to something 
more congenial and original : except writing 
from the heart and if possible to the heart, 
Life has no other business for me, no other 
pleasure. When I look at the wonderful 
Chaos within me, full of natural Super- 


naturalism, and all manner of Antediluvian 
fragments ; and how the Universe is daily 
growing more mysterious as well as more 
august, and the influences from without more 
heterogeneous and perplexing ; I see not well 
what is to come of it all, and only conjecture 
from the violence of the fermentation that 
something strange may come. As you feel a 
fatherly concern in my spiritual progress, which 
you know well, for all true disciples of yours, 
to be the one thing needful, I lay these details 
before you with the less reluctance. 

But now turning to more immediately prac- 
tical matters, let me thank you heartily for that 
new Cargo of friendly memorials and useful 
implements which the Weimar Carriers and the 
Hamburg Shippers have transported hither. 
With your spacious, lordly Town-mansion we 
have made ourselves familiar ; and look wist- 
fully through the windows, as if we could see 
our Friend and Teacher sitting there. How- 
ever, the little Garden-house with its domestic 
contraction and flowery privacy, is the scene 
we like best to figure you in, as you yourself 


like best to occupy it. As for the Books, I 
have found Wackier, so kindly granted me by 
Dr. Eckermann, a sound substantial help, in 
whose spirit I warmly agree, in whose vigorous 
summaries much knowledge is to be gathered. 
The Farbenlehre I have already looked into 
with satisfaction and curiosity ; and mean, this 
winter, to master it, so far as possible, according 
to the plan you recommend. Should I attain 
to any right understanding of the doctrine, it will 
be a pleasing office to publish such insight here, 
where vague contradictory reports are all that 
circulate at present. But chiefly I must thank 
you for that noble Brief wechsel which does 
"like a magic chariot" convey me into beloved 
scenes, and seasons of the glorious Past, where 
Friends ever dear to me, though distant, though 
dead, speak audibly. So pure and generous a 
relation as yours with Schiller, founded on such 
honest principles, tending towards such lofty 
objects, and in its progress so pleasant, smooth 
and helpful, is altogether unexampled in what 
we Moderns call Literature ; it is a Friendship 
worthy of Classical days, when men's hearts 


had not yet become incapable of that feeling, 
and Art was, what it ever should be, an inspired 
function, and the Artist a Priest and Prophet. 
The world is deeply your debtor, first for 
having acted such a part with your Friend, and 
now for having given us this imperishable 
memorial of it, which will grow in value, as years 
and generations are added to it. You will for- 
give me also if I fancy that herein I have got a 
new light upon your character ; and seen there, 
in warm, beneficent activity, much that I only 
surmised before. To Schiller, whose high and 
true, yet solitary, pain-stricken, self-consuming 
spirit is almost tragically apparent in these 
letters, such a union must have been invaluable ; 
to you also it must have been a rare blessing, 
for " infinite is the strength man lends to man." 
I am to finish the last volume to-night, and shall 
take leave of it with a mournful feeling, as of a 
fine Poem, not written but acted, which had 
been cut short by death. My wife, who par- 
ticipates in these sentiments, bids me ask of 
you, for her, a little scrap of Schiller's hand- 
writing, if you can spare such, to be treasured 


here along with your own, among the most 
precious things. 

We look forward with impatience for that 
translated Life of Schiller, with its wondrous 
accompaniments ; especially that Introduction, 
in which you condescend to fear that some 
things you have said may be considered indis- 
creet ! To me it can never be other than hon- 
ourable to be in any such way associated with 
you, in sight of any man, or of all men. The 
last section of your Works we also long to see : 
and I am here requested to remind you, if pos- 
sible without importunity, of that promised Inter- 
pretation of the Mdhrchen, which is still earnestly 
wanted by the female intellect. Neither am I 
to forget that new-made Chaos} in which your 
Ottilie gracefully occupies herself: we smiled to 
see ourselves in print there; and by a new oppor- 
tunity, new contributions will not be wanting. 

Some weeks ago I had a strange letter with 
certain strange Books from a Society in Paris, 
which calls itself La SociHe' Saint Sinionienne, 
and professes, among other wonderful things, 

1 See i?tfra, p. 235 ;/. 


now that Saint Simon is dead, to be instituting 
a new Religion in the world. Their address to 
me grounded itself on an Essay, entitled Signs 
of the Times which I had written for the Edin- 
burgh Review, about a year ago, and which 
seemed to point me out as their man. If you 
have chanced to notice that Saint Simonian 
affair, which long turned on Political Economy, 
and but lately became Artistic and Religious, I 
could like much to hear your thoughts on it. — 
For the present I can enter on nothing further, 
though much remains to be said. I hope it 
will be my turn to write again, ere long ; and 
that often through winter we shall hear good 
tidings of you, and send friendly greetings : best 
wishes w r e shall daily send. With loving regards, 
such as can belong to no other, I remain always 
your grateful Friend, Thqmas Carlyle . 

XXIX. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

[5 /A October 1830.] 
Und so geht denn auch, mein Theuerster, 
abermals ein Kastchen an Sie ab, indessen 


mein Brief vom 7. Juni und das Kastchen, 
abgegangen den 13., wohl schon bey Ihnen 
angekommen sind, und ich nun bald die Mel- 
dung des Empfangs brieflich von Ihnen hoffen 

Das Gegenwartige, gleichfalls der Sorgfalt 
Hn. Parish's liberlassene, enthalt denn endlich 
das so lange vorbereitete und immer verspa- 
tete Leben Schiller ?, in deutscher Uebersetzung. 
Mogen Sie zufrieden seyn mit der Art wie ich 
wtinschte Sie und meine Berliner Freunde in 
lebhaftem und fruchtbarem Verhaltniss zu 
sehen. In meinen Jahren muss es mir ange- 
legen seyn, die vielen Bezlige, die sich bey 
mir zusammenknupften, sich anderwarts wieder 
ankntipfen zu sehen, und zu beschleunigen was 
der Gute wlinscht und wtinschen muss: eine 
gewisse sittlich freysinnige Uebereinstimmung 
durch die Welt, und war es auch nur im Stillen, 
ja oft gehindert, zu verbreiten ; dergestalt damit 
sich manches friedlich zurecht lege, um * nicht 
erst zerstreut umhergetrieben und kaum ins 
Gleiche, nach grossem Verlust, gesetzt zu wer- 

1 MS., "und." 


den. Moge Ihnen gelingen, Ihrer Nation die 
Vortheile der Deutschen bekannt zu machen, wie 
wir uns immerfort thatig erweisen den unsrigen 
die Vorzlige der Fremden zu verdeutlichen. 

Da Sie Ihre Geschichte der deutschen Lite- 
ratur nicht zu beeilen brauchen, so wird Ihnen, 
zu weiterer Einsicht in dieselbe, das Werk von 
Wackier hochst wichtig seyn. Was in diesem 
Fach vorhanden ist, sehen Sie deutlich verzeich- 
net ; Ihr Geist, Ihr Gemiith wird Ihnen andeu- 
ten um was zunachst von diesem alien Sie sich 
umzuthun haben. Alsdann werden Sie finden 
was I lire Nation interessiren konnte, ausfuhrlicher 
oder kurzgefasster, wobey es denn immer doch 
zu jeder Zeit und an jedem Orte darauf an- 
kommt, dass etwas menschlich Wohlgesinntes 
durchgefuhrt, iiberliefert, und wo moglich be- 
statigt werde. Die wilde Unterbrechung der 
deutschen Bildung, besonders vom Anfang des 
17. Jahrhunderts bis ins 18. hinein, wird Sie 
betrliben. Wie sich ein Volk nach und nach 
wieder hilft, ist aber desto merkwiirdiger. Hie- 
mit nun alien guten Geistern und Einfltissen 


Die Berliner Freunde haben meine Wid- 
mung Ihres Schillerischen Lebens gar geneigt 
aufgenommen und sind zu alien wechselseitigen 
Mittheilungen erbotig. Sie haben mir ein Diplom 
zugeschickt, worin sie Herrn Thomas Carlyle 
zu Craigenputtock zum auswartigen Ehrenmit- 
glied ernennen. Dieses werthe Blatt, sende mit 
dem nachsten Kastchen das wohl vor Winters 
noch zu Ihnen kommt ; es wird die letzte Lie- 
ferung meiner Werke enthalten, der ich noch 
einiges Interessante hinzuzufugen hoffe. 

Da die Briefpost nicht so wie der andere 
Transport im Winter unterbrochen wird, so 
lassen Sie mich von Zeit zu Zeit etwas von 
Sich wissen, ehe wir wieder vollig einschneien, 
wozu flir diesen Winter, ob ich gleich nicht 
gerne Witterung voraussage, abermals bedenk- 
liche Aussichten sind. 

Nach Abschluss dieses Blattes, das ich gleich 
senden will, damit es dem Kastchen, welches 
am 29. August an die Herren Parish abge- 
gangen ist, nach oder voreile, griisse ich beide 
liebe Gatten zum schonsten. 

Herr Carlyle wird, meinem Wunsch gemass, 


den werthen Berlinern ein freundlich Wortchen 
sagen. Dem Gegenwartigen lasse bald ein 
anderes folgen. Ein talentvoller junger Mann 
und gliicklicher Uebersetzer beschaftigt sich mit 
Burns ; ich bin darauf sehr verlangend. Leben 
Sie recht wohl, schreiben Sie bald, denn ftir mich 
werden Tage und Wochen immer kostbarer.— 

Und so denn, fort an ! 


■ Weimar, d. 5 October 1830. 

Abschrift, Hitzig to Goethe} 

In der heutigen Sitzung der Gesellschaft fiir auslandische 2 
Literatur wiirde Herr Thomas Carlyle von Craigenputtock 
in Schottland durch einmiithigen Beschluss samtlicher 
anwesenden Mitglieder zum auswartigen Mitgliede dieser 
Gesellschaft ernannt. Dieselbe hofft mit Zuversicht, dass 
dieser ausgezeichnete Gelehrte, der von Goethe an ihn 
ergehenden Einladung entsprechend, zur Befbrderung ihrer 
Zwecke, so weit sie auf die Kenntniss und Verbreitung der 
Englischen Literatur in Deutschland, und der Deutschen in 
Grossbrittanien gerichtet sind, gern die Hand bieten, und 
so zur Erreichung des gemeinsamen Zieles allgemeiner 
Bildung thatig mitwirken werde. 

1 For Goethe's Letter introducing Carlyle to the members 
of this Society, see Appendix I. p. 299. 

2 MS., "vaterlandische." 


Hr. Carlyle wird hiervon durch Abschrift dieser Ver- 
handlung in Kenntniss gesetzt. 

So geschehen Berlin in der Versammlung vom 24n. 
Septbr. 1830. 

Die Gesellschaft fur auslandische Literatur. 



Once more, my dearest Sir, a little box is 
going to you, and meantime, my letter of the 
7th of June, and the box that was sent on the 
13th have probably reached you some time 
since, and I may now soon hope to have a 
letter from you informing me of their arrival. 

The present one (likewise committed to the 
care of Messrs. Parish) contains at last the Life 
of Schiller in the German translation, so long 
in getting ready, and always delayed. I hope 
you will be satisfied with the mode in which 
I wished to see you and my Berlin friends in 
active and fruitful communication. At my age 
I cannot but be anxious to see the many rela- 
tions, which have woven themselves around 
me, knit up anew elsewhere, and to promote, 
were it only by private efforts, often impeded, 


what every good man desires, and must desire, 
the diffusion of a certain morally liberal harmony 
of sentiment throughout the world ; so that by 
this means many things may quietly adjust 
themselves, instead of being scattered hither 
and thither at first so as to make it almost im- 
possible, after great loss, to set them right 
again. May you succeed in making your nation 
acquainted with the good points of the Germans, 
as we on our part are always active in bring- 
ing before our own people what is excellent in 
foreign nations. 

As you do not need to hurry in your History 
of German Literature, Wachler's book will be 
of the greatest importance in giving you further 
insight into it. You will see clearly recorded 
what exists in this field, and your intelligence 
and genius will indicate to you, what you 
should first take up, in all these matters. 
Then you will find what will interest your 
countrymen, either in full or in brief, so that 
constantly at all epochs and in every place the 
result may be to exhibit, transmit, and if pos- 
sible, establish something beneficial to mankind. 


The barbarous interruption of German culture, 
especially from the beginning of the seven- 
teenth century onwards into the eighteenth, will 
sadden you. The gradual recovery of a nation, 
however, is all the more striking. In this be all 
good spirits and influences now called to aid. 

Our Berlin friends have accepted my dedica- 
tion of your Life of Schiller very favourably, 
and are ready for all reciprocal communications. 
They have sent me a Diploma, in which they 
appoint Mr. Thomas Carlyle of Craigenputtock 
a foreign honorary member. This valuable 
document I will put into the next little box, 
which will probably reach you before the winter. 
It will contain the last Section of my Works, to 
which I hope to add something more that is 

Since the letter post is not interrupted in 
winter like other means of transport, let me 
know something 01 you from time to time, 
before we are again completely snowed -in, in 
respect to which for this winter, though I do 
not like to predict the weather, there are once 
more unfavourable signs. 


In ending this letter, which I will send off 
at once, that it may precede or directly follow 
the little box that went to Messrs. Parish on 
the 29th of August, I send my warmest regards 
to the dear Pair. 

Mr. Carlyle will, in accordance with my wish, 
say a friendly word to the worthy Berliners. 
Another letter will soon follow this. A young 
man of much talent, and successful as a trans- 
lator, is busy with Burns. 1 I take an eager 
interest in his work. Fare you right well ; 
write soon, for days and weeks are becoming 
more and more precious to me. 

And so then, onward ! 


Weimar, $th October 1830. 

Copy, Hitzig to Goethe. 

In to-day's meeting of the Society for Foreign Litera- 
ture, Mr. Thomas Carlyle, of Craigenputtock, Scotland, was 
elected, by the unanimous vote of the members present, a 
Foreign Member of this Society. The Society confidently 
hopes that this distinguished scholar, in response to the 
invitation transmitted to him by Goethe, will readily give 
his assistance to the furtherance of its objects, so far as 

1 Philipp Kaufmann is the name of this young gentleman. 


they are directed to the knowledge and diffusion of English 
literature in Germany, and of German in Great Britain, and 
thus actively unite in the effort to attain the common end 
of universal culture. 

Mr. Carlyle is informed hereof by an extract from the 

Done at Berlin, at the Meeting on the 24th of Sep- 
tember 1830. 

For the Society for Foreign Literature, 


XXX. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

[17th October 1830.] 

Mein letztes Schreiben vom 5. Octbr. wird 
indessen zu Ihnen, mein Theuerster, gelangt 
seyn, worin ich zugleich das Decret abschrift- 
lich eingeschaltet habe, welche Sie zum aus- 
wartigen Mitgliede der Gesellschaft fur aus- 
landische Literatur zu Berlin ernennt. Ge- 
genwartig theil' ich das Schreiben gleichfalls 
in Copia mit, wodurch jenes eingesendet ward. 
Ich freue mich dass Sie durch diese Vermittlung 
ein Verhaltniss in Deutschland gewinnen das 
Ihnen in der Folge in manchen Fallen nutzlich 
werden kann. 

Wenn uns die Zeit mit dem Verluste alterer 


Freunde bedroht, so mussen wir suchen uns 
jiingeren anzuschliessen. Von der Societe 
St. Simonienne bitte Sich fern zu halten. Auch 
hierliber gelegentlich das Nahere. 


J, W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, d. 17 Octbr. 1830. 

Abschrift, Hitzig to Goethe. 

Herrn Th. Carlyle, der das unschatzbare Gliick geniesst, 
seine literarische Thatigkeit durch Ihren Rath geleitet, 
durch Ihre Mitwirkung gefordert, durch Ihre Freundschaft 
erhoht und belebt zu sehen, und der dieser Gunst des 
Geschicks so wiirdig ist, glaubten wir unsre hohe Achtung 
und den Wunsch einer nahern Verbindung mit ihm am 
deutlichsten dadurch zu beweisen, dass wir ihn einmiithig 
zum auswartigen Mitgliede unsrer Gesellschaft ernannten. 
Nachdem Ew. Excellenz diese Verbindung eingeleitet, ja 
durch die Aneignung seines unserm unverganglichen Schiller 
geweihten Werkes ihn gleichsam schon zu dem unsrigen 
gemacht haben, dlirfen wir hoffen, dass er unsrer Einladung 
zur gemeinsamen Forderung des hohen Zweckes folgen 
werde, und bitten Sie dieses unser lebhaftes Verlangen durch 
Ihre giitige Vermittelung an ihn gelangen zu lassen. 

Wir schliessen mit dem Wunsche, der fur jeden edelge- 
sinnten Deutschen zum Gebet wird, dass der Himmel dem 
Vaterland Ihr Leben noch lange Jahre erhalten moge, 



dieses Leben, wovon jeder Moment ein befruchtender 
Keim ist zur Veredlung und Erhebung fur Zeit und 

Beschlossen Berlin in der Versammlung vom 24 . 
Septbr. 1830. 

Die Gesellschaft fur auslandische Literatur. 



My last letter of the 5th of October, in 
which I inserted a copy of the vote, nominat- 
ing you, my dearest Sir, a member of the 
Society of Foreign Literature at Berlin, will, I 
trust, have reached you. I now send you a 
copy of the letter in which that vote was trans- 
mitted to me. I am glad that by this means 
you have secured relations with Germany, which 
may hereafter in many cases be useful to you. 

When time threatens us with the loss of 
older friends, we must seek to attach ourselves 
to younger ones. From the St. Simonian 
Society pray hold yourself aloof. More about 
this on another occasion. 

Most faithfully, 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, ijth October 1830. 


Copy, Hitzig to Goethe. 

\24th September 1830.] 

As to Mr. Thomas Carlyle, who enjoys the inestimable 
good fortune of having his literary labours guided by your 
advice, furthered by your co-operation, and quickened and 
elevated by your friendship, and who so well deserves 
this favour of fate, we have unanimously chosen him a 
Foreign Member of our Society, believing that thereby we 
could best prove our high esteem for him and our desire 
for a closer relation with him. Since your Excellency has 
brought about this connection, nay more, has, through the 
adoption of his Work consecrated to our immortal Schiller, 
as it were, already made him one of us, we trust he will 
comply with our invitation to join us in the promotion of 
our high aim, and we beg of you to permit this, our sincere 
desire, to reach him through your kind mediation. 

We conclude with the wish, which in every noble-minded 
German becomes a prayer, that Heaven will spare your 
life to our country for many years to come, — a life whose 
every moment is a fruitful seed of ennoblement and eleva- 
tion for the present time and future ages. 

Done at Berlin at the Meeting on the 24th of September 

For the Society for Foreign Literature, w 

XXXI. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Craigenputtock, Dumfries, 
23a? October 1830. 

My honoured Friend — From the first 
sentence of your otherwise most welcome Letter, 


I draw the unpleasant apprehension that mine 
of August last has failed to reach you. The 
like, it is true, never happened in our past cor- 
respondence : nevertheless to such accidents 
we are ever liable ; at all events, this suspicion 
of neglect, under which I may have fallen, is of 
such a sort that I lose not a moment in remov- 
ing it. Did no letter for you, then, arrive in the 
beginning of September announcing that your 
Packet of the 13th June, and Letter of the 7th 
had both happily come to hand ; and been 
received with the old feelings of thankfulness 
and gladness, which such expressions of your 
regard must ever merit from us ? l I will still 
hope [it did] : for the Letter, of which unluckily 
I have kept no memorandum, and cannot more 
accurately specify the date, was without any 
doubt despatched hence, and safely committed 
to the Post-Office ; after which, so punctual are 
the rules and arrangements of that Establish- 
ment, there seems no probability of miscarriage 
on this side the German shore ; except, indeed, 
one of our Mail Ships had been wrecked ; of 

1 This is Letter XXVI 1 1. See supra, p. 207. 


which in the Newspapers I observed no notice. 
If such hope, which I still cherish, prove well- 
founded, let the present Letter be considered 
as a conscientious supererogation : in all things 
touching my duties of gratitude towards you, I 
would willingly make assurance doubly sure. 
When the Packet, which we are now permitted 
shortly to expect, reaches us, I will write again. 
Meanwhile be pleased to entertain the convic- 
tion that our regard, our love for you is not 
susceptible of change or interruption ; that few 
days, none perhaps wherein I am well employed, 
pass over me in these solitudes, without affec- 
tionate remembrances and thoughts full of 
kindly veneration for the Friend who fern im 
Lande sometimes also thinks of us. 

In this Letter are two prophetic allusions 
breathing a noble pathetic dignity, which 
nevertheless affect me with alarm and pain. 
Far distant be that day so mournful for us, and 
for millions ! It is true, I might ask myself 
what are you to me but a Voice ; and is not 
that Voice one of those that cannot die ? Will 
not also, when we are still more inaccessibly 


parted, the memory of past kindness abide, 
perennially sweet, with the survivor ? Neither 
in any case do we sorrow as those that have no 
Hope. He who has seen into the high meaning 
of " Entsagen " cherishes even here a still 
Faith in quite another Future than the vulgar 
devotee believes, or the vulgar sceptic denies. 
" God is Great," say the Orientals ; to which we 
add only, " God is good," as the beginning and 
end of all our Philosophy. But let us look 
away from these solemnities, which, however, 
the wise man at no moment forgets : the blessed- 
ness of Life is not in living, but in working 
well ; and he to whom a Task, rarely exampled 
in the history of men, was given, and who has 
done it, and is still doing it, " looks both before 
and after " with calm eyes, though the dew of 
" natural tears " may gather there. We will 
hope and pray that a life so precious may be 
lengthened, in peaceful activity, to the utmost 
term ; that long years of kind earthly brother- 
hood are still appointed us. 

If my last Letter were not lost, it would con- 
vey to you in warm terms the admiration I felt 


for the Schillersche Briefwechsel, which I was 
then on the point of finishing. A singularly 
kind chance brought two such men into neigh- 
bourhood : their relation, so full of generous 
Helpfulness, and the highest Endeavour, is one 
which, especially in these times, it does us good 
to look upon ; to you especially, as the more 
independent of the two, and by whom the sick, 
retiring, almost monastic Schiller was still held 
in some communion with the world, the lovers of 
Genius will feel deeply indebted ; first for your 
friendly ministerings to this noble man ; and 
now for perpetuating this record of so rare a 
union. In Schiller himself there is almost a 
spirit-like abstraction and elevation ; yet a pain- 
ful isolation, except from you, is also manifest : 
we could figure him as some Prometheus : steal- 
ing fire, indeed, from Heaven ; but to whom also 
the Gods as punishment had sent chains and 
a gnawing vulture. How different was his fate 
from that of our own poor Burns, blest with an 
equal talent, as high a spirit ; but smitten with 
a far heavier curse, and to whom no guiding 
Friend, warmly as his heart could love, and 


still long for wisdom, was ever given ! One such 
as you might have saved him, and nothing else 
could ; but only the vain, the idle, the dissipated 
gathered round him ; he was alone among his 
kind, and courage and patience at last failed 
him, and he lost all that made him Man. He 
was of Schiller's age ; in the second year of that 
fair Weimar union, Burns perished miserably, 
deserted and disgraced, in that same Dumfries, 
where they have erected Mausoleums over him, 
now that it is all unavailing, and would buy a 
scrap of his handwriting, as if it were Bank- 
paper ; such is the sad history which, in genera- 
tion after generation, is too often repeated to us. 
Having here come upon Burns, I will add 
my heartiest wishes, not unmixed with consider- 
able fears of a negative result, that your young 
Translator may be successful with him. The 
changeful, too fugitive expressiveness of his 
diction is one great charm with Burns ; at all 
times hard to seize by a Translator, and no 
doubt doubly so, when hidden in the rough 
guise of our Scottish provincial dialect. Be- 
sides his chief, indeed almost his only, true 


Poetical writings are Songs, which are of all 
the most unmanageable. Otherwise Burns is 
only a Volksdichter, more notable for shrewd 
sense, passionate attachment, and a certain 
rustic humour than any higher qualities. I 
shall be full of curiosity to see your country- 
man's version, the first, I believe, into any 
foreign tongue : if he fail, beyond the due limits 
of Poetical and Translatorial license, the highest 
kindness we can do him here will be to forget 
him; the whole British nation is passionately 
attached to Burns; the very Inn-windows where 
he chanced to scribble in idle hours, with his 
versifying and often satirical Diamond, have all 
been unglassed, and the scribbled panes sold into 
distant quarters, there to be hung up in frames ! 
There is an infinite Dilettantism in the world ; 
but also a certain universal Love for Spiritual 
Light, and " Reverence for what is above us." 

Quitting Burns, I must not omit to thank 
you, were it even a second time, for Wackier, 
whom I find, in my Historical Studies, a solid, 
trustworthy and useful help. I mentioned last 
time, that my German Literary History was, 


so far as concerned Publication, standing in a 
state of abeyance, the original Bibliopolic 
Scheme, of which it formed part, having fallen 
to the ground. There is now another possi- 
bility of its being sent forth ; as a separate 
work ; which I shall like better. The negotia- 
tion is not in my hands : but perhaps before 
the next letter, I may have it in my power to 
communicate the issue. Meanwhile I have 
been engaged a little in other more ambitious 
enterprises : but whether the result may be a 
Book, or only a pair of Magazine Essays, I 
cannot yet predict ; but will mention in due 
time, if it prove worthy of mention. 

The news from Berlin, full particulars of which, 
with so many other interesting things, I expect 
by your Packet, could not be other than gratify- 
ing. To Friends recommended by you my best 
services must be always due. One of these men, 
if the name Hitzig belongs to the Biographer of 
Hoffmann and Werner, is already favourably 
known to me. 1 A letter, according to your wish, 

1 Carlyle had spoken approvingly of Hitzig, in the Life 
and Writings of Werner (Miscei/anies, i. p. 105). 


with offer of heartiest co-operation in a work which 
I also reckon so important, shall not be wanting. 
There is much more to be said, were not the 
unstretchable paper too near an end. For the 
Farbenlehre I shall afterwards thank you more 
at large. To your Ottilie express our kindest 
wishes every way ; hope also for prosperity in 
her Editorship of that fair Chaos 1 (like the grace- 

1 Eckermann says, under date 5th April 1830: — "We 
came at length to speak of the ' ChaosJ which is a Weimar 
Periodical conducted by Madame von Goethe, in which not 
only the German ladies and gentlemen of this place take part, 
but also, more especially, the young English, French, and other 
Foreigners who are staying here ; so that nearly every num- 
ber of it is a medley of almost every known European language. 
' It is very pretty of my daughter,' said Goethe, ■ and she ought 
to be commended and thanked for having established a journal 
which is in the highest degree original, and for having so 
stimulated the individual members of our community, that it 
should now have survived almost a twelvemonth. It is, indeed, 
but a dilettante pastime, and I know right well that nothing 
great or lasting will come of it ; still it is pretty, and it is 
to a certain extent a mirror of the intellectual standing of 
our present Weimar society. And then, too, which is the 
main thing, it gives our young ladies and gentlemen, who 
often don't know what to do with themselves, some occupa- 
tion. And also it is an intellectual centre, which offers them 
opportunities for conversation and entertainment, and thus 
keeps them from mere inanity and hollow gossip. I read 
every page as it comes fresh from the press, and can say that 


ful one of a Lady's portfolio), for which, among 
these mountains, new materials, I believe, are 
preparing. Forget not your kind resolution of 
soon writing again. Through the winter you 
shall duly hear of me : it is a deep snow, through 
which Mail-guards will not either drive or ride ; 
and now steam carries men and ships across the 
water in all seasons. My friendly regards to Dr. 
Eckermann, if he is with you. My wife joins 
me in sincerest prayers that all good may be 
with you. God have you in His keeping! — I 
am ever, your affectionate Friend and Servant, 

Thomas Carlyle. 
XXXII. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Craigenputtock, 15M November 1830. 

My honoured Friend — With the truest 
pleasure we received your Letter of the 17th 
October, some ten days ago, and, strangely 
enough, that same evening, by another con- 
veyance, arrived the long-looked-for Hamburg 

in the whole I have seen nothing that was inept, and indeed 
some things in it that were even very pretty.' " — Gesprdche 
mit Goethe. 


Box, with all its precious contents in perfect 
order. Already, on the 23d of last Month, I 
had written to you, chiefly in regard to a former 
letter, which I then feared might have been 
lost : now, however, by a certain phrase, I dis- 
cover that such fear was groundless ; that 
hitherto our messages pass safely, over rough 
seas and tumultuous lands, and do not once 
miss their road. Among the many wonders of 
modern society, such a benefit is not the least 
wonderful ; and ought, indeed, as you once re- 
marked, to make amends for much that we 
could wish otherwise. Not knowing the par- 
ticular Address of our Berlin Friends, and 
thinking better, at all events, that you, who had 
planted the seed of that relation, should also 
witness its germinating, I have enclosed a few 
lines under this cover, and shall employ your 
kindness to forward them as you see fittest. 
I hope also that the footing you have procured 
me on the German soil will prove a lasting one, 
and pleasant to my neighbours : for me the re- 
membrance of him to whom I owe it will render 
the connection doubly valuable. 


Concerning the Box and its Books, I must 
first mention that wonderful Life of Schiller, with 
its proud Introduction, 1 fitter to have stood at the 
head of some Epic Poem of my writing than 
there. That I should see myself, before all the 
world, set forth as the Friend of Goethe, is an 
honour of which, some few years ago, I could 
not, in my wildest flights, have dreamed ; of 
which I should still desire no better happiness 
than to feel myself worthy. For the rest the 
book is nearly the most beautiful I have ever 
seen ; the Preface graceful and pertinent, as 
well as highly flattering : these House-pictures 
themselves seem more appropriate than I could 
have fancied. On the whole, as one of our 
rhymers says : " Tis distance lends enchant- 
ment to the view"; had this Craigenputtock 
mansion stood among the Harz Mountains or 
the Vosges, this authentic image of it would 
have interested me as well as another. But that 
our remote Scottish Home should stand here, 
faithfully represented by a German burin under 
your auspices, this is a fact which we shall 

1 See supra, p. 204 n. 


never get to understand. The King's palace 
of Holy rood was not dealt with so royally ; and 
that our rough-cast Dwelling, with its humble 
Sycamores and unfrequented hills, should have 
such preferment ! We repeat often : a House, 
like a Prophet, save in its own country, is not 
without Honour. 

For that matchless copy of your Poems, 
the more precious for the memorable Day it 
was inscribed on, 1 my wife, whose gratifica- 
tion is of the highest, requests a little space 
here to thank you in her own words. The 
last Lieferung I have already gone over ; 
especially the Tag-und Jahresheft, in the like 
of which I could read without limit. — Here, 
however, let me mention an accident and 
omission, which, as important to me, you 
will gladly rectify : namely, that the fore -last 
Lieferung was not sent ; that from volume 2 5 

1 Goethe's Gedichte (Cotta 1829), two volumes, in blue silk 
cover, and with autograph inscription, " Der entfernten theuren 
Freundin Jane W. Carlyle, mit freundlichstem Gruss, am 28 
Aug. 1830, W. Goethe, Weimar." ["To my dear, far-distant 
friend Jane W. Carlyle, with kindest greeting, on the 28th of 
August, 'Goethe's Birthday,' 1830."] 


to volume 31, of that beautiful Edition, there is a 
blank. Let me trust, also, that your task is not 
yet finished ; that from among your valuable 
Papers, copious Selections, and Completions 
of many sorts are yet in store for us. My room 
here is exhausted, otherwise there were in- 
numerable things to say. In No. CI 1 1, of the 
Edinburgh Review is a Criticism of Lord L. 
Gowers Translations, which, as wiping away a 
reproach from British Literature, I could not 
but welcome. The Critic, who, I learn, is a 
man of forty, " a scholar, politician, and philo- 
sopher," appears to understand nothing what- 
ever of Faust, except that the Author is the 
first of contemporaneous minds, and that Lord 
Gower understands less than nothing of it. 
Even this, however, is something, and not 
long ago would have seemed surprising. I 
myself am sometimes meditating a Translation 
of Faust, for which the English world is getting 
more and more prepared. But of all this more 
at large by the next occasion. Might I beg for 
another word from you by your earliest con- 
venience. The winter will not shut up our 


thoughts, our wishes. May all Good be ever 

with you ; may your days long be preserved 

in peace for the millions to whom they are 

precious ! ^ ~ 

r T. Carlyle. 

[Postscript by Mrs. Carlyle.] 

I have requested a vacant corner of my 
Husband's sheet ; that I might, in my own 
person add a word of acknowledgment. But 
what my heart feels towards you finds no fit 
utterance in words ; and seeks some mode of 
expression that were infinite : in action, rather 
in high endeavour, would my love, my faith, 
my deep sense of your goodness express itself; 
and then only, should these feelings become 
worthy of their exalted object. Goethe s 
'friend,' 'dear friend!' words more delight- 
ful than great Queen so named. " I bear 
a charmed heart"; the fairy -like gift on which 
those words are written 1 shall be my talisman 
to destroy unworthy influences. Judge then 
how I must value it ! In the most secret place 

1 See supra, p. 239 n. 


of my house I scarcely think it sufficiently safe ; 
where I look at it from time to time with a 
mingled feeling of pride and reverence. Ac- 
cept my heartfelt thanks for this and so many 
other tokens of your kindness ; and still think 
of me as your affectionate friend and faithful 

^ ' Jane W. Carlyle. 


\6th December 1830.] 

Meintheurer Herr und Freund ! — Verzeihen 
Sie dass ich mit einer Antwort auf Ihr letztes 
werthes Schreiben bis jezt in Riickstand geblie- 
ben bin. Ich erhielt es im April einen Tag vor 
meiner Abreise nach Italien mit Herrn v. Goethe, 
dem Sohn. Ich bin in voriger Woche von dieser 
Reise nach Weimar zuriickgekehrt, jedoch 
allein, indem jener Freund, wie Sie vielleicht 
auch aus den Zeitungen werden gesehen haben, 
in Rom seine irdische Bahn beschlossen hat. 
Seine Familie hat diesen Verlust eines 
geliebten Mitgliedes schmerzlich empfunden, 


sichjedoch nach und nach in das Unabander- 
liche, Geschehene, ergeben, und sich nunmehr 
ganz wieder dem Lebendigen und Thatigen 
zugewendet. Besonders ist Goethe's hohes 
Wirken keinen Tag unterbrochen worden, wie 
man denn an Ihm iiberhaupt die Maxime zu 
verehren hat, jedes unniitze Leiden durch niitz- 
liche Thatigkeit zu tiberwaltigen. 

Kaum war ich nun einige Tage wieder hier, 
als Goethe in der Nacht von 25. auf den 26. 
November mit einem heftigen Blutsturz 
erwachte, so dass Sein Leben in Gefahr 
schwebte und nur ein schneller Aderlass und 
eine so kraftige Natur wie die Seinige Ihn 
retten konnte. Sie mogen denken dass ganz 
Weimar dadurch in grosse Aufregung und in 
nicht geringe Sorge versetzt wurde. Am 
zweyten Tage jedoch liess uns die beruhigende 
Aussage seines trefflichen Arztes, des Hofrath 
Vogel, schon wieder die beste Hoffnung 
schopfen und so ist denn Goethe von Tag 
zu Tag seiner vollkommenen Genesung 
entgegengeschritten, so dass Er jetzt schon 
wieder auf, und in gewohnter Weise beschaftigt, 


ist, wie wohl Er sich noch stille bey Sich halt 
und wie billig noch alle aussere Anregung 
vermeidet. Die Krankheit war also nicht 
zum Tode sondern zur Ehre Gottes, und wir 
schopfen aus diesem glanzenden Sieg Seiner 
unvergleichlichen Natur die sicherste Hoffnung, 
Ihn nunmehr noch manches schone Jahr in 
vollkommenen Kraften thatig voran zu sehen. 

Vor alien freue ich mich nun auf die Vollen- 
dung des Faust woran jetzt so viel gethan, dass 
sie nicht ferner zu den Unmoglichkeiten zu 
rechnen ist. Ich freue mich dazu als zu einem 
Werk das an Umfang und inneren Reichthum 
nicht seines Gleichen haben wird, indem es nicht 
allein nach alien Verhaltnissen der geistigen 
und sinnlichen Welt hinruhrt, sondern auch 
die menschliche Brust mit alien ihren Leiden- 
schaften und Thatigkeiten, mit ihren Richtungen 
auf das Wirkliche, so wie auf die imaginaren 
Regionen des Glaubens und Aberglaubens 
vollkommen ausspricht, und zwar in alien 
denkbaren Formen und Versen der Poesie. 
Deutschland wird sich daran uben um es zu 
verstehen und vollkommen zu geniessen, und 


die Nachbarnationen werden es ihren vorzlig- 
lichsten Talenten danken, wenn sie dieses 
Deutsche Product durch immer gelungenere 
Versionen bey sich national machen. 

Es steht mir zwar nicht zu Ihnen zu rathen, 
ware ich jedoch an Ihrer Stelle, so wurde ich 
sicher fur meine Nation etwas dankbares unter- 
nehmen, wenn ich die schonsten Mussestunden 
einiger Jahre auf eine treue Uebersetzung des 
Faust verwendete. Die Proben Ihrer Helena 
haben zur Genlige gezeigt, dass Sie nicht allein 
das deutsche Original vollkommen verstehen, 
sondern auch Ihre eigene Sprache genugsam in 
Ihrer Gewalt haben, um das Empfundene und 
Verstandene anmuthig und geistreich wieder 
auszudrucken. Die Uebersetzung des Lord L. 
Gower mag denen gentigen die das Original nicht 
kennen, und man mag sie als Vorlaufer eines Bes- 
sern schatzen, allein genau besehen mag es ihm 
gefehlt haben, beydes an Einsicht wie an Muth. 

Man soil aber nie fragen ob eine Nation fur 
ein Werk reif 1 sey, bevor man wagen will es ihr 

1 Two words here, likely to be torn by the seal, are re- 
peated in the margin in Goethe's hand. 


zu bringen. In solcher Erwartung hatte Goethe 
noch lange Zeit haben mogen. Die Nationen 
aber reifen an kiihnen Werken heran und man 
soil ihnen daher das Beste nicht vorenthalten. 

Ich hatte vor, Ihnen noch manches von 
meiner Reise zu schreiben, ich wollte Ihnen 
von manchem grossen Eindrucke erzahlen den 
ich gehabt, wie mich der Mont Blanc und 
Monte Rosa so wie der Garda und Genfer See 
in Bezug auf die Farbenlehre beschaftiget ; auch 
dass ich auf meiner Riickreise mich der Ueber- 
setzung Ihres Lebens von Schiller erfreut ; 
allein es fehlt mir heute an Raum wie an Zeit ; 
und ich schliesse fur diessmal, mit den herz- 
lichsten GriAssen an Sie und Ihre Frau Gemalin, 
und mit dem Wunsch recht bald wieder von 
Ihnen zu horen. 

Ihr treuer Freund, 

Weimar, d. 6. Dcbr. 1830. 

[Postscript by Goethe in his own handwriting.] 

Glucklicherweise kann ich eigenhandig hinzu- 
fugen dass ich lebe, und hoffen darf noch eine 


Zeitlang in der Nahe meiner Geliebten zu ver- 

weilen. Gruss und Segen den theuern Gatten ! 

Ihre beyden Briefe sind angelangt, der nach 

Berlin bestellt. 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, d. 7. Dcbr. 1830. 


My dear Sir and Friend! — Pardon me, 
that my answer to your last valued letter 
has been delayed until now. I received it 
in April, the day before setting out for Italy 
with Herr von Goethe, the son. I returned to 
Weimar from this journey last week, but alone, 
for that friend, as you perhaps have seen in the 
newspapers, closed his earthly course in Rome. 1 

1 Eckermann and August von Goethe set out on this journey 
on the 2 2d of April 1830; but August, whose conduct had 
made his absence from Weimar desirable even to his Father, 
who was much attached to him, was soon galled by Ecker- 
mann's restraint, and, with Goethe's permission, the two travel- 
lers parted company at Genoa on the 1 2th of September ; 
August, after visits to Pompeii and to Naples, proceeded to 
Rome, where a stroke of paralysis brought his life to a close on 
the 27th of October 1830. He was buried near the Pyramid 
of Cestius ; Thorwaldsen (out of respect for August's Father) 


His family have keenly felt this loss of a be- 
loved member, but they have gradually sub- 
mitted to what has unalterably befallen, and 
have now once more wholly turned back to the 
living and their concerns. Above all, Goethe's 
high task was not interrupted for a single day ; 
for on all occasions we have to revere in him 
the principle of mastering useless sorrow by 
useful activity. 

I had returned, however, but a few days, when 
on the night of the 25th- 26th of November 
Goethe awoke with so violent a hemorrhage of 
the lungs, that his life was in danger, and was 
only saved by a speedy blood-letting and by the 
vigour of his constitution. You may imagine 
that all Weimar was thrown by this into a state 
of great emotion and no little anxiety. How- 
ever, on the second day, the encouraging report 
of his eminent physician, Hofrath Vogel, gave 

designed and erected a monument to his memory. Eckermann 
did not return to Weimar until the 23d of November. He 
was most kindly received by Goethe, " who talked of many 
things, only not a word of his son." — See Diintzer's Life oj 
Goethe^ translated by Thomas W. Lyster (2 vols., London, 
1883), ii. pp. 416-421. 


us the best hopes ; and, from day to day, Goethe 
has steadily advanced toward complete re- 
covery, so that he is now again up and busy in 
his usual ways, although he still remains quietly 
at home, and avoids, as is desirable, all external 
excitement. Thus the illness was not fatal, 
but for the glory of God ; and from this strik- 
ing victory of his incomparable constitution, 
we derive the most confident hope that we 
shall yet see him at work, and in complete 
possession of his powers, for many fair years 
to come. 

Above all, I now look forward to the com- 
pletion of Faust, of which so much is finished, 
that it is no longer to be counted among the 
impossibilities. And I rejoice in the work as 
one, which in compass and in richness of con- 
tents will not have its like, touching as it does 
not only on all the relations of the spiritual and 
intellectual world, but also giving complete ex- 
pression to the human heart, with all its passions 
and energies, with its dispositions for action, 
as well as for the imaginary regions of belief and 
superstition ; and this too, in every conceivable 


form and measure of poetry. Germany will try 
its strength on the work, in order to understand 
and fully enjoy it, and neighbouring nations 
will be grateful to their men of most distin- 
guished talent, if by versions, ever more and 
more successful, they make this German pro- 
duct one of their own national possessions. 

It is indeed not for me to offer advice, but if 
I were in your place, I should certainly under- 
take something for which my country would 
be grateful, by employing, for some years, my 
best leisure hours on a faithful translation of 
Faust. The specimens of your Helena have 
sufficiently shown, that you not only completely 
understand the German original, but have also 
your own language sufficiently at command to 
express in it the sentiment and meaning with 
grace and spirit. Lord L. Gower's translation 
may be sufficient for those who do not know 
the original, and may be valued as the fore- 
runner of a better version, but, critically ex- 
amined, it seems to be lacking alike in insight 
and in vigour. 

But one should never ask if a Nation is 


ready for a work, before one ventures to offer it. 
Were that the case Goethe might still have had to 
wait a long time. Nations are indeed matured 
by means of daring works, and therefore the 
best ought not to be withheld from them. 

I had intended to write to you many things 
of my journey. I wanted to tell you of the 
many deep impressions I received ; how Mont 
Blanc and Monte Rosa, as well as the Lakes of 
Garda and Geneva, had occupied me in refer- 
ence to the Farbenlehre, and also that on my 
homeward journey I was cheered by the trans- 
lation of your Life of Schiller ; but both time 
and space fail me to-day, and I now conclude 
with most cordial greetings to you and your 
lady, and with the hope that I may soon hear 
from you again. 

Your faithful friend, 

Weimar, 6th December 1830. 

Happily I can add with my own hand that I 
am alive, and may hope yet for a time to abide 
with my loved ones. Greetings and blessings 


to the dear Pair. Your two letters have arrived, 
and the one for Berlin has been forwarded. 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, yt/i December 1830. 

Carlyle, writing to his Mother on the nth Feb- 
ruary 1 83 1, told her of the receipt of the preceding 
letter, and of his reply to it : — 

" We had a letter from Goethe, or rather from Goethe's 
secretary, with a short kind postscript from Goethe to tell 
that he was ' still in the land of the living and beside his 
loved ones.' He has lost his only son (far from him, 
travelling in Italy) ; and has had a violent fit of sickness 
(a flux of blood), so that for two days his own life was 
despaired of. He bore his son's death like a hero ; ' did 
not cease from his labours for a single day.' I have written 
to him all that was kind : engaged among other things to 
translate his Poem of Faust, which I reckoned would be a 
gratification to him. If my own Book 1 were out, I would 
begin it with alacrity." 

XXXIV. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Craigenputtock, Dumfries, 
lid Jamcary 1831. 

My dear and honoured Friend — I learn 
with the truest sorrow, by Dr. Eckermann's 

1 Sartor Resartus. 


Letter, and the Public Journals, what has be- 
fallen at Weimar ; that you have lost him who 
was the most precious to you in this world ; 
that your own life, threatened by violent disease, 
has been in extreme danger. My only con- 
solation is that you yourself are still preserved 
to us ; that you bore your heavy stroke with 
the heroic wisdom we should have anticipated 
of you. It is a truth, which we are daily 
taught in stern lessons, that here nothing has a 
" continuing city ; " that man's life is as a 
" vapour which quickly fleeth away." Within 
the bygone Twelvemonth I too have lost no 
fewer than five of my near relatives : the last, 
a Sister, peculiarly endeared to me by worth and 
kind remembrances, whom I now seem to have 
loved almost more than any other of my kindred. 
"We shall go to them, they shall not return to 
us." Meantime, while Days are given us, let 
us employ them : " Our Field is Time," what 
we plant therein has to grow through Eternity ; 
our Hope and Comfort is "to work while it is 
called To-day." And so : Forward ! Forward ! 
What Dr. Eckermann mentions of your being 


busied with a Continuation of Faust could not be 
other than great news for me. Pray tell him also 
that his counsel and admonition about an English 
version of Faust came in the right season ; that 
I had already long been meditating such an en- 
terprise, and had well nigh determined, before 
much time elapsed, on attempting it. The British 
World is daily getting readier for a true copy of 
Faust : already we everywhere understand that 
Faust is no theatrical spectacle, but a Poem ; 
that they who know and can know nothing of 
it, must also say nothing of it ; which, within 
the last four years, is an immense advancement. 
Lord L. Gower's Translation is now universally 
admitted to be one of the worst, perhaps the 
very worst, of such a work, ever accomplished 
in Britain ; our Island, I think, owes you some 
amends ; would that I were the man to pay it ! 
As I said, however, I have as good as deter- 
mined to make the endeavour ere long. 

In an early number of the Edinburgh Review, 
perhaps in the next, there is to appear, as I 
learn, a criticism of the Briefwecksel, involving 
most probably a delineation and comparison of 


the two great Correspondents. I must warn 
all German Friends to expect but little : the 
Critic, I apprehend, will be the same who 
criticised Faust and Lord Gower in the last 
Number of that Periodical i 1 an admiring Dilet- 
tantism, but no true insight or earnest criticism, 
is to be looked for. — I too am again to speak 
a word on that favourite subject, a word of 
warning and direction, where the harvest is 
great, and the reapers many and more zealous 
than experienced. A certain William Taylor 
of Norwich, the Translator of your Ipkigeuie, 
has written what he calls a Historic Survey of 
German Poetry ; the tendency of which you 
may judge of sufficiently by this one fact, that 
the longest Article but one is on August von 
Kotzebue. Taylor is a man of real talent, but 
a Polemical Sceptic only ; with no eye for 
Poetry, who sees in the highest minds only 
their relation to the Church Creed ; whose book, 
therefore, as likely to mislead many, I have felt 
called upon to contradict, and, by such artillery 

1 Mr. William Empson, Jeffrey's son-in-law, afterwards 
editor of the Edinburgh Review. See infra, p. 282. 


as I had, batter down into its original rubbish. 
I fear you will not like the satirical style : the 
more agreeable will some concluding specula- 
tions be on what I have named World- Litera- 
ture, after you ; and how Europe, in the 
communion of these its chief writers, is again 
to have a " Sacred College and Council of 
Amphictyons," and become more and more one 
universal Commonwealth. This, it seems to 
me, is one of the most cheering signs of the 
future that are yet discernible. Literature is 
now nearly all in all to us ; not our speech 
only, but our Worship and Lawgiving ; our 
best Priest must henceforth be our Poet ; the 
Vates will in future be practically all that he 
ever was in theory, — or else Nothing, which 
last consummation we cannot consent to admit. 
The Review of Taylor is not to appear for some 
months : l in the meanwhile, I am working at 
another curious enterprise of my own, which is 
yet too amorphous to be prophesied of. 2 

1 It appeared in the Edinburgh Review, No. CV., 1831. 
See Miscellanies, vol. iii., p. 283. 

2 Sartor Resartus. 


Leaving now these Paper Speculations, let 
me descend a little to the solid Earth. We 
have a mild winter here, are busy and 
peaceable : often look into that Weimar House, 
and figure our Friend and Master there, and 
pray for all blessings on him. A little collec- 
tion of Memorials, intended to cross the sea, 
is also gathering itself together : we anticipate 
that before the next 28th of August, at all events, 
it will have saluted you. I have already got nearly 
all my writings for the Foreign Review ; and will 
send them in the shape of Aush'dngebogen, since 
they are yet in no other. Learning from your 
Tag-und Jahresheft that you had no copy of the 
English Ipkigenie, I sent to London to procure 
one ; hitherto without effect ; however, as the 
work stands entire in this Taylors Historic 
Survey, I will study to send it in one or the 
other form. Some weeks ago we heard of a 
wandering Portrait-painter being at Dumfries, 
who took what were called admirable likenesses, 
in pencil, at two hours' sitting : whereupon we 
drove down, and set the Artist to work ; who 
unhappily produced, by way of Portrait for me, 



a piece of beautiful pencilling, which had no 
feature of mine about it ; so that it cannot be 
sent to Weimar, being worth nothing : however, 
my wife has undertaken to copy and rectify it ; 
at all events, to clip you some profile of me. 
Would that there were aught else we could do 
for you in our Island ; had I but a true work of 
my own writing to send ! 

The Saint Simonians in Paris have again 
transmitted me a large mass of their perform- 
ances : Expositions of their Doctrine ; Pro- 
clamations sent forth during the famous Three 
Days ; many numbers of their weekly Journal. 
They seem to me to be earnest, zealous, and 
nowise ignorant men, but wandering in strange 
paths. I should say they have discovered and 
laid to heart this momentous and now almost 
forgotten truth, Man is still Man; and are 
already beginning to make false applications of 
it. 1 I have every disposition to follow your 
advice, and stand apart from them ; looking 

1 Carlyle, in Sartor Resartus (Book III., chapter xii.), 
speaking of the Saint-Simonian Society, expresses the same 
idea in almost the same words. 


on their Society and its progress neverthe- 
less as a true and remarkable Sign of the 

In our own country, too, the political atmos- 
phere grows turbid, and great things are 
fermenting and will long ferment. To which 
also I reckon that my proper relation is that 
chiefly of Spectator : the world is heavily 
struggling out into the new era ; the struggle 
has lasted centuries, and may yet last centuries : 
let him who has seed-corn, or can borrow seed- 
corn, cast it into these troubled Nile- waters, 
where, in due season, it will be found after 
many days. Some of our friends are high in 
the new Ministry, especially the Edinburgh 
Reviewer of Meister, a good man and bad 
critic '} but the Sun and Seasons are the only 
changes that visit the wilderness. Mein Acker 
ist die Zeit. 

Perhaps ere long a letter will come from 
Weimar, to tell us that you are still well, and 
nobly occupied. Meanwhile, know always that 
we love you and reverence you. To your dear 

1 Jeffrey. 


Ottilie speak peace, and from us, all that is 
kind and sympathising. " God is great, God 
is good." — I remain ever, your affectionate, 
grateful Friend, Thqmas Carlyle 

Please to return Dr. Eckermann my friend- 
liest thanks, and encourage him to repeat his 
kind favour : I will surely reply to it. 

XXXV. — Hitzig to Carlyle. 

[28M January 1831.] 

Ew. Wohlgeborn waren uns schon vor dem 
Erscheinen Ihrer Lebensbeschreibung unsers 
grossen Landmannes zu ehrenwerth bekannt, als 
dass letztere nicht in uns den Wunsch erregen 
sollen, mit Ihnen in nahere Beziehung zu treten. 
Dies zu bewirken schien uns die geeigneteste 
Weise, Sie zur Mitgliedschaft unserer an- 
spruchlosen literarischen VerbriAderung einzu- 
laden, und wir statten Ihnen unsern verbind- 
lichsten Dank ab, dass Sie unsere freundliche 
Einladung eben so freundlich angenommen. 
Dagegen fiirchten wir, dass Ew. Wohlgeborn 


in einem Irrthum sich befinden, wenn Sie der 
Ansicht waren, dass unsere Gesellschaft eine 
besondere Wirksamkeit nach aussen wiinsche. 
Ihr Hauptzweck besteht in dem Genuss 
auslandischer Geisteswerke und in der 
gewlinschten Verbindung mit auslandischen 
Dichtern und Aesthetikern, um sich solche 
naher der Quelle zu verschaffen und eine 
bewahrtere Bekanntschaft mit dem reellen 
Neuen, als durch die getrtibtere der Journale 
zu erlangen. Die Gesellschaft, noch zu jung, 
besitzt bis jetzt keine Diplome und wtinschte 
auch, wenn diese einst ausgefertigt werden, 
dass ihre Mitglieder davon keinen offentlichen 
Gebrauch machten. Der Deutsche lebt einmal 
— auch nach 1831 [sic] — mehr flir die Familie, 
als flir die Oeffentlichkeit, er tragt das Familien- 
leben gern in die Literatur liber, wo es sich 
thun lasst. Ew. Wohlgeborn werden aus 
diesen Griinden die Bitte entschuldigen, von 
dem Titel eines Ehrenmitgliedes unserer Gesell- 
schaft keinen offentlichen Gebrauch zu machen, 
indem er einen Schein des Anspruchs auf die 
Gesellschaft werfen wtirde, den diese gern 


vermiede. Beifolgend theilen wir Ihnen vor- 
laufig, nebst einer Anzeige Ihres Werks vom 
Herrn Dr. Seidel, unsere Statuten, und ein 
alteres Namensverzeichniss unserer Mitglieder, 
deren Zahl sich seit der Zeit auf eine erfreuliche 
Weise vermehrt hat, nach Ihrem Wunsche mit. 
Der unsere ist, dass uns recht bald Gelegenheit 
wlirde, wozu Sie uns Hoffnung gemacht, Sie 
personlich in unserer Mitte zu sehen. 

H ochachtungsvoll, 

Ew. Wohlgeborn, 


Die Gesellschaft fur auslandische Literatur, 

Berlin, beschlossen in der 
Sitzung vom 28 ten Januar 1831. 


Sir — You were already, before the appear- 
ance of your Biography of our great countryman, 
too honourably known to us for this work to fail 
in exciting in us the wish to enter into closer 
relation with you. The fittest means of accom- 


plishing this was, it seemed to us, to invite you 
to become a Member of our unpretending 
Literary Brotherhood, and we offer you our 
most grateful thanks for having accepted, in so 
friendly a manner, our friendly invitation. 

At the same time we fear that you, Sir, may 
have misapprehended us, if you have thought 
our view was to gain for our society any par- 
ticular outside agency. Its chief aim consists 
in the enjoyment of foreign intellectual works, 
and in desiring a connection with foreign poets 
and aesthetic writers, for the sake of providing 
ourselves with this enjoyment nearer the source, 
and of securing more authentic information con- 
cerning what is really new than the dim medium 
of the Periodicals affords. The Society is still 
too young to issue Diplomas, and, if in future 
it should do so, it would desire its members to 
make no public use of them. It is the way of 
the German — even in 1831 — to live more for 
the family than for the public, and he likes, where 
it is possible, to carry the habits of family life 
into Literature. You will therefore pardon the 
request, that you will make no public use of 


the title of Honorary Member of our Society, 
since it would tend to give to it an appearance 
of pretension which it would gladly avoid. 
Meanwhile, in accordance with your wish, we 
enclose to you, together with a notice of your 
Work by Dr. Seidel, our Rules, and an old 
list of our Members, whose number has, since 
that was made, increased in a very satisfactory 
manner. Our wish is, that we may very soon 
have the opportunity, of which you give us the 
hope, of seeing you in person among us. 

With high respect, 
Your most obedient, 
For the Society for Foreign Literature, 


Berlin, done at the Meeting of 
the 28th of January 1831. 

XXXVI. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

[2d June 1 83 1.] 
Bey eintretendem Fruhling, welcher Sie 
gewiss auch schon besucht haben wird, finde 


ich gemlithlich Sie wieder zu begrlissen und zu 
versichern dass wir diesen Winter an Sie, als 
eingeschneite Freunde ofter gedacht haben. 
Wenn ich sage wir, so ist es dass Ottilie mit 
ihren Kindern, nachdem der Gatte, als Mittel- 
person beliebt hat, in der ehemaligen Haupt- 
stadt der Welt, zurtickzubleiben, sich natiirlich 
und sittlicher Weise naher an mich anschliesst ; 
da wir denn genugsam wechselseitiges Interesse 
und daraus entspringende Unterhaltung finden, 
und zwar mitunter so abgesondert von der 
librigen Welt, dass wir eine Art von Craigen- 
puttock mitten in Weimar zu bilden im Falle 

Gegenwartiges, welches schnell genug bey 
Ihnen ankommen wird, lasse vorausgehen, in- 
dem ich eine Ihnen bestimmte Sendung noch 

Der Inhalt meiner letzten 5 Bande ist Ihnen 
meist bekannt und was er fur Sie Neuesenthalt, 
wird Ihnen, spater wie fruher, einige Unter- 
haltung geben. Es ist aber manches auf mich 
und Schiller Beziigliches zeither hervorgetreten, 
welches ich erst sammeln und ordnen mochte, 


damit Sie auf einmal etwas Bedeutendes 

Sogar mocht' ich eine Antwort auf gegen- 
wartigen Brief erwarten urn von Ihnen zu 
vernehmen ob Sie vielleicht auf einiges in 
Deutschland erschienene von hieraus zu sen- 
dende aufmerksam geworden, was Sie allenfalls 
zu sehen wiinschten. Das alles konnte zu 
gleicher Zeit anlangen, denn wenn ich die gute 
Jahrszeit vor mir sehe, so scheint mir, man 
konne nichts verspaten. 

Der gute Eckermann ist gliicklich zuriick- 
gekehrt, heiter und in seiner Art Wohlgemuth. 
Sein zartes und zugleich lebhaftes, man mochte 
sagen, leidenschaftliches Geftihl ist mir von 
grossem Werth, indem ich ihm manches Unge- 
druckte, bisher ungenutzt Ruhende vertraulich 
mittheile, da er denn die schone Gabe besitzt, 
das Vorhandene, als geniigsamer Leser, freund- 
lich zu schatzen und doch auch wieder, nach 
Geftihl und Geschmack zu Forderndes deutlich 
auszusprechen weiss. 

Vorstehendes war langst zur Absendung 


bestimmt, blieb aber liegen bis ich das beysam- 
men hatte, was doch auch werth ware libers 
Meer sich zu Ihnen zu begeben. Sie erhalten 
also : — 

1. Vier Hefte Neureutherischer Randzeich- 
nungen, zu meinen Parabeln und sonstigen 
Gedichten. Schon vor Jahren wurde, in Mlin- 
chen, ein altes Gebetbuch entdeckt, wo der Text 
den geringsten Raum der Seite einnahm, die 
Rander aber von Albrecht Dtirer, auf die 
wundersamste Weise, mit Figuren und Zier- 
rathen geschmuckt waren. Hievon wird ge- 
nannter junger Mann entziindet, dass er, mit 
wundersamstem Geschick, Randzeichnungen zu 
vielen meiner Gedichte unternahm, und sie, mit 
anmuthig congruirenden Bildern commentirte. 
Wie diess geschehen muss man vor Augen 
blicken, weil es etwas Neues, Ungesehenes und 
deshalb nicht zu beschreiben ist. Moge dieses 
reizende Heft unsern Eremiten der Grafschaft 
Dumfries oft wiederholt heitere Lebensaussich- 
ten gewahren. 

2. Die letzte Sendung meiner Werke ; lassen 
Sie sich zu dem schon Bekannten freundlich 


hinflihren. Ich habe mit einer poetischen 
Masse geschlossen, weil denn doch die Poesie 
das gllickliche Asyl der Menschheit bleiben 
wird, indem sie sich zwischen den ersten dustern 
Irrthum und den letzten verkuhlenden Zweifel 
mitten hineinsetzt, jenen in Klarheit zu fuhren 
trachtet, diesen aber deutlich und theilnehmend 
zu werden nothigt, so werden nicht viele wirk- 
samere Mittel gefunden werden um den Men- 
schen in seinem Kreise loblich zu beschaftigen. 

3. Die zwey Bandchen Schiller redivivus 
werden Ihnen Freude machen; sie regen manch 
schemes Gefuhl und manchen wichtigen Gedan- 
ken auf. 

4. Nun kommt auch der Abschluss des 
Chaos anbey, woran manches Sie interessiren 
wird. Mit dem 52 Stuck ward der erste Band 
geschlossen, und es fragt sich : ob die an- 
muthige Societat, wie sie jetzt ist, bey schnell- 
wechselnden Theilnehmenden, bey fliichtigen 
Gesinnungen, Neigungen und Grillen, unter- 
nehmen wird in diesem Flusse zum zweytenmal 
zu schwimmen ; einige Herzenserleichterungen 
von unsrer Schottischen Freundin mitgetheilt, 


wlirden dieEntschliisse wahrscheinlichu. hoffent- 
lich befordern. 

5. Meine Metamorphose der Pflanzen mit 
einigen Zusatzen, alles libersetzt von Herrn 
Soret, liegt denn endlich auch bey. Da dieses 
Heft Ursache der retardirten Sendung ist, so 
wunsch' ich denn doch dass der Inhalt auch 
Ihnen moge von Bedeutung seyn. Gewinnen 
Sie dem Ganzen etwas ab, so wird es Sie nach 
manchen Seiten hin fordern, auch das Einzelne 
wird Ihre Gedanken auf erfreuliche Wege hin- 
weisen. Es waren die schonsten Zeiten meines 
Lebens da ich mich um die Naturgegenstande 
eifrig bemuhte und auch in diesen letzten Tagen 
war es mir hochst angenehm die Untersuchun- 
gen wieder aufzugreifen. Es bleibt immer ein 
herzerhebendes Gefiihl wenn man dem Uner- 
forschlichen wieder einige lichte Stellen abge- 

Auch liegt ein Blatt bey, von Herrn Hitzig 
unterschrieben, die Anerkennung Ihrer Berliner 
Fellowship. Von jenen werthen Freunden 
habe ich unmittelbar lange nichts vernommen. 
Die fortwahrende Bemlihung mein Haus zu 


bestellen und meinen nachsten Mitfiihlenden 
und Mitwirkenden das in die Hande zu legen 
was ich selbst nicht vollbringen kann, nimmt 
mir alle brauchbare Stunden weg deren uns 
doch noch manche gute wie schone gegonnt sind. 
Hiemit sey geschlossen; ins Kastchen selbst 
wird noch ein Blatt gelegt. Von mir und 
Ottilien die schonsten Grlisse und treusten 
Wiinsche dem lieben Eremitenpaare. Die An- 
kunft des Kastchens bitte baldigst zu melden. 

Also sey es ! 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, den 2 Juni 1831. 


\2djune 1 83 1.] 
With the coming of Spring, which by this 
time will have visited you also, I find it pleasant 
once more to greet you and to assure you that 
we have often thought of you during the last 
winter as snow-bound friends. If I say we, it 
is because of Ottilie, with her children, who, 
since her Husband, the bond of union between 


us, has chosen to remain behind in the Ancient 
Capital of the World, naturally and properly 
clings more closely to me. As this brings suf- 
ficient interest and entertainment to both of us, 
we are sometimes on account of it so secluded 
from the rest of the world, that we have been 
like to form a kind of Craigenputtock in the 
midst of Weimar. 

I am sending off this present letter, which will 
reach you soon enough, while I still withhold a 
package, which I intend for you. 

The contents of my last five volumes are for 
the most part known to you, and what they 
may contain that is new, will, as in former cases, 
prove of some interest to you. Since they were 
published, several things relating to me and 
Schiller have appeared, which I should now like 
to collect and put in order, so that you may at 
the same time receive something of importance. 

I am even inclined to await your answer 
to this Letter to learn from you whether you 
have not perhaps noticed anything that has 
appeared in Germany which you might by 
chance wish to see, and which could be sent 


from here. These things might all go to you 
at once, and now, when we have the time of the 
year in our favour, it seems to me, one should 
have no delays. 

The good Eckermann has happily returned, 
cheerful and after his fashion gay. His deli- 
cate, and at the same time lively, one might 
say passionate, feeling is of great value to me ; 
since I communicate to him in confidence much 
unprinted matter, hitherto lying by unused ; 
while he has in return, as a sympathetic reader, 
the happy gift of cordially appreciating what 
is before him ; and he knows how to express 
clearly with tact and discrimination, what may 
be suggested by feeling and taste. 

The preceding was intended to be sent long 
ago, but remained waiting, till I had collected 
what other things might be worth going to you 
across the sea. Thus you now receive — 

1. Four Parts of Marginal drawings by 
Neureuther, to my Parables and some of my 
other poems. Some years ago an old Prayer- 
book was found in Munich, in which the text 


took up the smallest part of the page, but the 
margins were adorned, in the most wonderful 
way, with figures and ornaments by Albert 
Diirer. The above-named young man was so 
fired by this example, that, with the most sur- 
prising skill, he set about making marginal 
drawings for many of my poems, and furnish- 
ing a comment upon them with pleasingly 
appropriate pictures. How this has succeeded, 
one must see with one's own eyes, because it 
is something new, never seen before, and there- 
fore not to be described. May this charming 
work afford our hermits of the county of Dum- 
fries oft-repeated, cheerful vistas of life ! 1 

1 Eckermann in his Conversations, under date of 5th April 
1 83 1, reports Goethe as saying : " In Art one does not easily 
meet with a more pleasing talent than Neureuther's. It is 
rare that an artist confines himself to what he is able to do 
well ; most of them are anxious to do more than they can, 
and are eager to overstep the limits which nature has set to 
their talents. But of Neureuther one may say that he stands 
above his talent. Objects from all the kingdoms of nature 
are easily at his command. He draws, equally well, valleys, 
rocks, trees, animals, and men. He has taste, and is in a 
high degree, inventive and artistic ; while lavishing such wealth 
on slight marginal drawings, he seems to play with his talent, 
and the pleasure which usually accompanies the careless, free 
spending of ample riches is transferred to the spectator. . . . No 



2. The last Section of my Works ; pray 
turn, with friendly feeling, to what you already 
know in it. I have closed with a mass of 
poetry, for, after all, poetry, intervening as 
it does, between the first dim error and the 
last chilling doubt, endeavouring to change 
the one to clearness, and compelling the other 
to become intelligible and sympathetic, will 
remain the happy refuge for mankind ; and 
few more effectual means will be found 
for occupying a man worthily in his own 

3. The two small volumes of Schiller Redi- 
vivus will please you ; they awaken many a 
noble sentiment and weighty reflection. 

4. There is also the conclusion of the Chaos, 
in which various things will interest you. The 
first volume ended with the 52nd number, and 
the question arises, whether this pleasant 

one has surpassed him in marginal drawing, even the great 
talent of Albert Diirer served in this less as a model to him 
than an incitement. — I will send a copy of these drawings to 
Mr. Carlyle in Scotland, and I hope to make with them no 
unwelcome present to that friend." — Albert Diirer's marginal 
drawings on the Prayer-Book of Kaiser Maximilian I., here 
referred to, have since been published (Munich, 1850). 


Society as it now exists, with its quickly- 
changing sympathies, with its fickle dispositions, 
inclinations and whims, will undertake to swim 
a second time in this stream. Some contribu- 
tion from our Scotch lady-friend to encourage 
their fainting hearts, would, it is to be hoped, 
be likely to advance its resolutions. 

5. Finally, my Metamorphosis oj Plants, 
with some additions, all translated by M. Soret, 
is added to the package at last. Since this 
book has been the reason of the delay, I trust 
the contents of it may be of importance to you 
also. If you gain anything from it as a whole, 
it will be of service to you on various sides, 
while the details will direct your thoughts in 
pleasant channels. The happiest time of my 
life was when I was eagerly at work on the 
works of Nature, and now in these last days it 
has been extremely delightful to me to resume 
those researches. There is after all a feeling of 
exaltation in once again throwing light on any 
part of the Impenetrable. 

There is with the rest, a sheet, signed by 
Herr Hitzig, the certificate of your Berlin 


" Fellowship." I have heard nothing directly 
from those worthy friends for a long time. 
The continual effort to set my house in order 
and to put in the hands of my fellow-workers, 
and those nearest me in sympathy, what I my- 
self cannot complete, occupies all my available 
hours, of which after all many good and beauti- 
ful ones are still granted to us. 

With this I must end : still another sheet 
will be put in the box. The fairest greetings 
from me and Ottilie, and most faithful wishes 
for the dear pair of hermits. Pray inform 
me of the arrival of the box as soon as 


So let it be! 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, id June 1831. 

XXXVII. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

\\$thjune 1 83 1.] 

Eben als ich schliessen will findet sich noch 
Raum in den Kastchen und ich komme auf 
einen Gedanken den ich langst hatte haben 


sollen. Ich lasse Ihnen die funf verflossenen 
Monate dieses Jahres von einer unsrer belieb- 
testen Zeitschriften : dem Morgenblatt, einpa- 
cken, nebst seinen Beyblattern tiber Kunst 
und Literatur. Sie werden dadurch mitten ins 
Continent versetzt, erfahren wie man sich 
unterhalt, wie man liber mancherley denkt 
und Sie konnen Sich dabey vorstellen wie es 
klange, wenn Sie eine unsrer guten Gesell- 
schaften besuchten. Auch liegt ein Exemplar 
von dem ubersetzten Leben Schillers bey, der 
Freundin gewidmet, damit sie erfahre wie sich 
auch die Buchbinder des Continents aller 
Genauigkeit und Anmuth befleissen. 

Und so sey es denn hiermit geschlossen 
unter den besten Wunschen, und in HofTnung 
baldiger Erwiederungen. 


Weimar, den \$Juni 1831. 


Just as I am about to close it, I find there is 
still room in the little box ; and a notion which I 


ought to have had long ago, has struck me. I am 
having packed up for you the numbers belonging 
to the five past months of this year, of one of 
our most popular journals, the Morgenblatt? 
together with its supplements on Art and 
Literature. You will by its means be trans- 
ported into the heart of the Continent, will 
learn what people are interested in there and 
what they are thinking on a variety of subjects, ; 
and can thus imagine what you would hear if 
you took part in one of our intellectual assem- 
blies. There is also in the box a copy of the 
translation of the Life of Schiller, an offering 
to my lady-friend, that she may learn how even 
the bookbinders of the Continent study neatness 
and elegance. 

And so now with this let us close it, amid 
our best wishes, and in the hope of speedy 



Weimar, 15M June 1831. 

1 Carlyle, in 1833, wrote on this volume of the Morgenblatt : 
" Part of the last Present I had from Goethe. — These News- 
paper-leaves had been read or looked over by Goethe the year 
before he left this world." 


XXXVIII. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

Craigenputtock, Dumfries, 
10th June 1831. 

My dear and honoured Friend — If kind 
thoughts spontaneously transformed themselves 
into kind messages, you had many times heard 
from me since I last wrote. Here in our still 
solitudes, where the actual world is so little 
seen, and Memory and Fancy must be the 
busier, Weimar is not distant but near and 
friendly, a familiar city of the Mind. Daily 
must I send affectionate wishes thither ; daily 
must I think, and oftenest speak also, of the 
Man to whom, more than to any other living, 
I stand indebted and united. For it can never 
be forgotten that to him I owe the all- precious 
knowledge and experience that Reverence is 
still possible, nay, Reverence for our fellow- 
man, as a true emblem of the Highest, even in 
these perturbed, chaotic times. That you have 
carried and will yet carry such life-giving Light 
into many a soul, wandering bewildered in the 


eclipse of Doubt ; till at length whole genera- 
tions have cause to bless you, that instead of 
Conjecturing and Denying they can again 
Believe and Know : herein truly is a Sove- 
reignty of quite indisputable Legitimacy, and 
which it is our only Freedom to obey. 

In anxious hours, when one is apt to figure 
misfortune for the absent and dear, I often 
look timorously into the Foreign Column of 
our Newspapers, lest it bring evil tidings of 
you, to me also so evil ; again, I delight to 
figure you as still active and serene ; busy at 
your high Task, in the high spirit of old 
Times. — Wie das Gestirn, Ohne Hast, Aber 
ohne Rast/ 1 — May I beg for my own behoof, 
some few of those moments which belong to 
the world ? It is chiefly in the hope of drawing 
a Letter from Weimar that I now write in the 
Scottish wilderness, where there can be so 
little to communicate. Our promised Packet 
has been detained longer than we looked for, 
and diminished in contents ; by a circumstance, 
however, which, we hope, will render it the 

1 Goethe's Werke (Cotta, 1827), vol. iii. p. 259. 


welcomer when it comes. We send it, this 
time, by London, where also it will have to 
linger, and be finally made up under the eye of 
a Proxy. For in that city, let me announce, 
there is a little poetic Tugendbund of Philo- 
Germans forming itself, whereof you are the 
Centre ; the first public act of which should 
come to light at Weimar, on your approaching 
Birthday. That the Craigenputtock Packet 
might carry any little documents of this along 
with it, was the cause of our delay, and of the 
new route fixed on. In London, with which 
I can only communicate by writing, matters 
move slower than I could wish : nevertheless, 
it is confidently reckoned, the whole will be 
ready in time, and either through the hands of 
Messrs. Parish at Hamburg, or of the British 
Ambassador at Berlin, appear at Weimar before 
the 28th of August, where doubtless it will 
meet with the old friendly reception. 

Of this little Philo-German Combination, 
and what it now specially proposes, and 
whether there is likelihood that it may grow 
into a more lasting union, for more complex 


purposes, — I hope to speak hereafter. The 
mere fact that such an attempt was possible 
among us, would have seemed strange some years 
ago ; and gives one of many proofs that what 
you have named World-Literature is perhaps 
already not so distant. To the Berlin Friends 
from whom lately came a friendly Note, I 
purpose communicating some intelligence of 
this affair : it may be, we too in London shall 
have a little Society for Foreign Literature ; 
which, in these days, I should regard as of 
good promise. 

The chief item in our Packet for Weimar 
will be the Proof-sheets of my poor contribu- 
tions as a Foreign Reviewer ; the most of 
which I have had stitched up into a volume for 
your acceptance, till I can offer the whole in 
another form. If the last number of ^ the 
Edinburgh Review has fallen into your hands, 
you have already seen the newest of these, 
the Criticism of Taylor ; likewise in the same 
number, an Essay on the Correspondence with 
Schiller. This latter is by a Mr. Empson, 1 a 

1 See supra.) p. 2 5 5 n. 


man of some rank and very considerable talent 
and learning ; in whose spiritual progress, as 
manifested in his study of German, I see a 
curious triumph of Truth and Belief over 
Falsehood and Dilettantism. He was the 
Reviewer of Faust in a former number ; and 
on this occasion, still leaving somewhat to 
desire, he has greatly surpassed my expecta- 
tions. Of young men that have an open sense 
for such Literature as the German, or of 
mature men that from youth upwards have been 
acquiring an open sense, there are now not a 
few in Britain : but the Critic here in question 
started at middle age, as I understand, and only 
a few years ago, from quite another point ; is an 
English Whig Politician, which means gener- 
ally a man of altogether mechanical intellect, 
looking to Elegance, Excitement, and a certain 
refined Utility, as the Highest ; a man halting 
between two Opinions, and calling it Toler- 
ance ; to whom, on the whole, that Precept, 
Im Ganzen, Guten, Wahren resolut zu leben} 

1 Goethe writes Schonen, not Wahren. Carlyle's words at 
the end of his Essay on the Death of Goethe are : " Could each 


were altogether a dead letter. How in this 
case the dry bones, blown upon by Heavenly 
Inspiration, have been made to live; and a 
naturally gifted spirit is freeing itself from that 
death-sleep, — is to me an interesting Pheno- 
menon. It is on such grounds that the study of 
the best German writings is so incalculably im- 
portant for us English at this Epoch. I am 
happy to report anew, that we make rapid pro- 
gress in the matter; that the ultimate recognition 
and appropriation of what is worthy in German 
literature by all cultivated English minds, may 
be considered as not only indubitable, but even 
likely to be speedy. 

For myself, though my labours in that pro- 

here vow to do his little task, even as the Departed did his 
great one ; in the manner of a true man, not for a Day, but 
for Eternity ! To live as he counselled and commanded, not 
commodiously in the Reputable, the Plausible, the Half, but 
resolutely in the Whole, the Good, the True : ' Im Ganzen, 
Guten, Wahi'en resolut zu leben /' ? — This is the verse, from 
Generalbeichte, in which these words of Goethe occur : 

Willst du Absolution 

Deinen Treuen geben, 

Wollen wir nach deinem Wink 

Unablasslich streben 

Uns vom Halben zu entwohnen, 

Und im Ganzen, Guten, Schonen, 

Resolut zu leben. — {Werke, i. 140.) 


vince have of late been partially suspended, 
I hope they are yet nowise concluded. The 
History, when it sees the light, may be no 
worse for having waited ; already, simply by 
the influence of Time, various matters have 
cleared up, and the form of the whole is much 
more decisively before me. As occasion serves, 
I can, either at once, or gradually as hitherto, 
speak out what further I have to say on it. 
But for these last months I have been busy 
with a Piece more immediately my own : of 
this, should it ever become a printed volume, 
and seem in the smallest worthy of such honour, 
a copy for Weimar will not be wanting. Alas ! 
It is, after all, not a Picture that I am painting ; 
it is but a half-reckless casting of the brush, 
with its many frustrated colours, against the 
canvas : whether it will make good Foam is 
still a venture. 1 

In some six weeks I expect to be in London : 
I wish to look a little with my own eyes at 
the world ; where much is getting enigmatic to 
me, so rapid have been its vicissitudes lately. 

1 The Piece was Sartor Resartus. 


The mountain-solitude, with its silent verdure 
and foliage, will be sweeter for the change ; and 
my efforts there more precisely directed. 

Here, however, are the limits of my paper, 
when there was scarcely a beginning of my 
utterance. How poor is all that a Letter, 
how poor were all that words, could say, 
when the heart is so full ! Do you interpret 
for me, and of broken stammerings make 

Think now and then of your Scottish 
Friends ; and know always that a Prophet is 
not without honour, that we love and reverence 
our Prophet. My wife unites with me in every 
friendliest wish. May all Good be with you 
and yours ! — Ever your affectionate 

T. Carlyle. 

All mute and dim as Shadows gray, 

His Scottish Friends the Friend descries ; 

Let Love evoke them into day, 

To questions kind, shape kind replies. 

Craigenputtock, idtkjune 1831. 


XXXIX. — Carlyle to Goethe. 

6 Woburn Buildings, Tavistock Square, 
London, \^th August 1831. 

My much honoured Friend — I send you a 
word of remembrance from this chaotic whirl- 
pool of a city, where I arrived three days ago ; 
where the confusion in which I and all things 
are carried round must be my excuse for brevity 
and almost unintelligibility. Often do I recal 
to myself that saying of poor Panthalis in 
Helena, "the soul-confusing spell of the 
Thessalian Hag," and feel as if I too were a 
Shade ; for in truth this London life looks more 
like a Mephistopheles' Walpurgis Night, than a 
real Heaven-encircled Day, where God's kind 
sun were shining peaceably on industrious men. 

Our last two Letters must have crossed each 
other about Rotterdam ; for yours was in 
Craigenputtock about a week before mine could 
be in Weimar. A thousand thanks for your 
remembrance of us ! Never was letter more 
gladly welcomed : it reached us in the calm 


summer twilight, and was itself so calm and 
pure, even like the Summer Evening, with mild 
sun-rays and the sheen of an everlasting Morn- 
ing already peering through ! Endless gratitude 
I owe you ; for it is by you that I have learned 
what worth there is in man for his brother- 
man ; and how the "open secret," though the 
most are blind to it, is still open for whoso has 
an eye. 

Since then two things have occurred which I 
must now notify. The first is the departure of a 
little packet from Craigenputtock which had to 
go round by London, and lie waiting there ; 
but was finally put to sea by my Brother, on 
the 5th of this month, with impressive charges 
to the Messrs. Parish of Hamburg that they 
would have it in Weimar before your Birthday. 
As it went by the Steam-ship, and our Ham- 
burg Merchants are the most courteous and 
punctual of men, I can still hope that in spite of 
so many delays, all will be well. The Craigen- 
puttock articles were insignificant' enough, and 
might arrive fitly at any time : solely some 
Books and printed Lucubrations of mine, which 


I hoped might not be quite uninteresting to 
you. But along with these went another 
article, from others as well as from myself, the 
significance of which required that you should 
see it on the 28th of August. It is a birthday 
gift from a certain select body of English Dis- 
ciples, who in this way seek to testify their 
veneration for you. Perhaps to make the feel- 
ing still purer, I find, they have withheld their 
names and merely signed themselves, " Fifteen 
English Friends." 1 I may mention now that 
among our number are some of our most noted 
men, our three highest Poets, certain Diplo- 
matic characters, and men of rank, as well as 
humbler but not less faithful and honourable 
labourers in the vineyard. Let me hope that 
it will arrive in due season ; and the sight of 
it give you some gratifying moments. 

My second thing to be announced is the 
arrival of your Weimar Packet at Craigen- 
puttock. I could not but take it as a good 
omen of my journey hither that this friendliest 
of messengers reached me some two hours 

1 See infra, p. 292 11. 


prior to my departure. A hasty glance through 
the contents was all that could be permitted 
me : I must leave my wife to assort and 
admire those printed Poems, and beautiful 
Randzeichnungen, in her mountain loneliness, 
as I find yesterday by a Letter from her, she is 
actually doing. For my own part I snatched 
up the Metamorphosis of Plants and Schiller 
Redivivus, with intent to read them as the 
Steamboat shot along with me to Liverpool, 
whither the first stage of my journey lay. In 
a calmer hour, a more deliberate word may be 
spoken of them. 

I have come hither chiefly to dispose of 
the Piece which I lately described myself as 
writing. 1 Whether, or how well, I shall succeed 
seems questionable : for the whole world here 
is dancing a Tarantula Dance of Political 
Reform, and has no ear left for* Literature. 
Nevertheless, I shall do my utmost to get the 
work, which was meant to be a "word spoken 
in season," actually emitted : at lowest I shall 
ascertain that it cannot be emitted, and study 

1 Sartor Resartus. See supra^ p. 8 5. 


to do what duty that situation also will call for. 

Probably I shall be here for a month. 1 On 

returning to the Scottish wilderness, you shall 

hear from me again. Meanwhile, figure me 

and mine as thinking of you, loving you ; as 

present especially on that 28th with wishes as 

warm as loving hearts can feel. Salute Ottilie 

from my wife and me. Think sometimes of 

those that are yours in this Island, especially 

among the Nithsdale Mountains. — All Good be 

yours always ! ^ ~ 

* ■ * 1 . Carlyle. 

The following letter was printed, not long after its 
date, in Fraser's Magazme, xxii. 447, and afterwards 
in a note to Carlyle's Essay, originally published in 
the Foreign Quarterly Review on Goethe's Works. 
The words prefixed to it in Fraser may still serve 
as a sufficient introduction : — 

" ' A fact,' says one of our fellow-labourers in this 
German vineyard, ' has but now come to our knowledge, 
which we take pleasure and pride in stating. Fifteen 
Englishmen, entertaining that high consideration for the 

1 Carlyle afterwards decided to spend the winter in London ; 
Mrs. Carlyle joined him there, and they did not return to 
Craigenputtock until the following April. 


Good Goethe, which the labours and high deserts of a long 
life usefully employed so richly merit from all mankind, 
have presented him with a highly wrought Seal, as a token 
of their veneration.' We must pass over the description 
of the gift, for it would be too elaborate ; suffice it to say, 
that amid tasteful carving and emblematic embossing 
enough, stood these words engraven on a golden belt, and 
on four sides respectively : To the German Master : From 
Friends in England: 28 th August: 1831 j finally, that the 
impression was a star encircled with a serpent -of- eternity, 
and this motto : Ohne Hast Aber Ohne Rast." 

The suggestion was due to Carlyle, as well as the 
design of the Seal, and the choice of the motto for 
it (from one of Goethe's Xenien. See supra, p. 280). 

XL. — Fifteen English Friends 1 to Goethe, 
on the 2 8th AUGUST 1831. 

Sir — Among the friends whom this so inter- 
esting Anniversary calls round you, may we 

1 The names of the " Fifteen English Friends " are given 
in Zelter in the following order, some of them very oddly spelt : 
Thomas Carlyle, Dr. Carlyle, W. Fraser (editor of the Foreign 
Review), Dr. Maginn, Heraud (editor of Fraser), G. Moir 
(translator of Wallenstein), Churchill (author of a Translation 
of Wallenstein^ s Lager), Jerdan (editor of the Literary Gazette), 
Professor Wilson (editor of Blackwood), Sir Walter Scott, 
Lockhart (editor of the Quarterly), Lord Francis Levison- 
Gower (translator of Faust) : the Poets, Southey, Wordsworth 
and Procter (Barry Cornwall). — Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe 
und Zelter (Berlin, 1834), Sechster Theil, 256-7. 


' English Friends,' in thought and symbolically, 
since personally it is impossible, present our- 
selves, to offer you our affectionate congratula- 
tions. We hope you will do us the honour to 
accept this little Birthday Gift ; which as a 
true testimony of our feelings, may not be 
without value. 

We said to ourselves : As it is always the 
highest duty and pleasure to show reverence to 
whom reverence is due, and our chief, perhaps 
our only benefactor is he who by act and word, 
instructs us in wisdom, — so we undersigned, feel- 
ing towards the Poet Goethe as the spiritually- 
taught towards their spiritual teacher, are 
desirous to express that sentiment openly and 
in common. For which end we have deter- 
mined to solicit his acceptance of a small 
English gift, proceeding from us all equally, 
on his approaching Birthday ; that so, while the 
venerable man still dwells among us, some 
memorial of the gratitude we owe him, and 
think the whole world owes him, may not be 

And thus our little tribute, perhaps among 


the purest that men could offer to man, now 
stands in visible shape, and begs to be received. 
May it be welcome, and speak permanently of 
a most close relation, though wide seas flow 
between the parties ! 

We pray that many years may be added to 
a life so glorious — that all happiness may be 
yours, and strength given to complete your 
high task, even as it has hitherto proceeded, 
"like a star, without haste, yet without rest." 1 

We remain, Sir, your friends and servants, 

Fifteen English Friends. 

1 Zelter, writing to Goethe on the 17th of August 1831, 
remarks that Goethe has told him nothing about the Seal from 
the " Nineteen " Englishmen and Scotchmen. Goethe replies, 
on the 20th of August : " Since I have received your valuable 
gift for my approaching birthday, I may now give you tidings 
of the notable present which I have received from across the 
Channel. Fifteen English Friends, so they subscribe them- 
selves, have had a seal prepared by their most famous gold- 
smiths ; of a size to be easily contained in the hollow of the 
hand, and in shape like a longish vase. The highest skill of 
the goldsmith, aided by the enameller, is here displayed. It 
reminds one of the descriptions in which Cellini is wont to 
extol his own achievements, and it is obvious that they have 
worked after the model of the sixteenth century. The English 
seem to think the saying, ' Ohne Rast, doch ohne Hast ' [sic] of 
considerable significance, and essentially it very well expresses 


XLI. — Goethe to Carlyle. 

Den Funfzehen Englischen Freunden. 

Worte die der Dichter spricht, 
Treu in heimischen Bezircken, 
Wircken gleich, doch weiss er nicht 
Ob sie in die Feme wircken. 

Britten ! habt sie aufgefasst ! 

" Thatigen Sinn ! das Thun geziigelt ; 

Stetig Streben, ohne Hast." 

Und so wollt Ihr es besiegelt. 1 

Vorstehendes habe, gleich nach Empfang des 
anmuthigsten Geschenkes, durch Herrn Fraser 
an die verbundeten Freunde nach London 
gelangen lassen. Ihnen, mein Theuerster, send' 
ich das Duplum, das vielleicht fruher als jene 
Mittheilung von dorther zu Ihnen gelangt. 

Ich ftige nur hinzu dass die begleitenden 
Bticher und Hefte schon von mir angegangen 

their own mode of procedure. These words are engraved 
round a star, the well-known serpent encircling all, unfortun- 
ately in Old German Capitals, which do not bring out the 
sense quite clearly." [The words, in a circle, are without full 
stop or distinctive initial letter, and are indeed very difficult to 
read.] " It is a gift in every sense worthy of thanks, and I 
have written some friendly rhymes to them in return." 

1 These "friendly rhymes" are in Goethe's own hand- 
writing, and the Letter bears an impression of the new seal. 


worden sind, und dass ich darin manches Er- 
freuliche gefunden habe. Worliber nachstens 
mehr. Auch eine Betrachtung der Schattenrisse 
und deren unglaubliche Vergegenwartigung des 

Die zu Ende Juni von Hamburg, durch Hn. 
Parish abgesendete Kiste, ist nun schon, oder 
bald in Ihren Handen ; lassen Sie mich deshalb 
ein Wort vernehmen. 

Wie ich denn hier, nur mit den wenigsten 
Worten, wiederhole : dass mir die Gabe der 
verblindeten Freunde ein so ausserordentliches, 
als unerwartetes Vergnligen gemacht hat und 
nicht mir allein, sondern gleichmassig Freunden 
und Bekannten, die eine so kunstreiche Arbeit 
zu schatzen wissen. 

Den theuren Gatten gliickliche Stunden ! 

Weimar, 19. Aug. iSji. 


to the fifteen english friends. 

The words the Poet speaks swiftly and 
surely work within the compass of his land 


and home ; yet knows he not if they do work 
afar. Britons, ye have understood ! " The 
active mind, the deed restrained : steadfast 
striving, without haste." And thus ye will that 
it be sealed. 

The above I sent through Mr. Fraser of 
London, for the associated friends immediately 
after receiving their most charming gift. To 
you, my dearest Sir, I send this duplicate, which 
will perhaps reach you before that missive 
comes thence to you. 

I now merely add that I have already read 
here and there in the books and pamphlets 
which accompanied the gift, and that I find in 
them much that is delightful. Of this more 
next time, as well as of the silhouettes and the 
inconceivable way in which they bring the 
absent before one. 

The box, sent from Hamburg, through 
Messrs. Parish, at the end of June, is ere 
now, or will soon be, in your hands ; let me 
have a word from you concerning it. 

I now repeat here, but in the fewest words : 


the gift of the associated friends has afforded 
me a pleasure as unusual as unexpected ; and 
not me alone, but likewise friends and acquaint- 
ances, who know how to appreciate so artistic a 
piece of work. 

To the dear Pair, happy hours ! 


Weimar, 19th August 1831. 

Goethe died on the 2 2d of March 1832. 
Carlyle has written in his Journal, under a 
newspaper cutting announcing Goethe's death : 

"This came to me at Dumfries, on my first 
return thither. I had written to Weimar, ask- 
ing for a Letter to welcome me home j 1 and 
this was it. My Letter would never reach its 
address: the great and good Friend .was no 
longer there ; had departed some seven days 

Craigenputtock, 19th April 1832. 

1 After his long stay in London. No such letter has been 
found in the Goethe archives ; it is probably in the archives of 
Chancellor von Muller, the Executor of Goethe's Will. 





To the Honourable Society for 

Foreign Belles Lettres in Berlin. 

When towards the end of last year, I received 
the welcome intelligence that a Society with 
which I was already in friendly relation, and 
which had till then devoted itself to German 
Literature, proposed in future to turn its atten- 
tion also to that of foreign countries, I could 
not, as I was then situated, record at sufficient 
length and with due clearness my appreciation 
of this enterprise, on occasion of which, more- 
over, much goodwill has been shown to myself. 
Even now in this public expression of my 


gratitude and interest, I can only present in a 
fragmentary manner what I should have liked 
to set forth with greater coherence. However, 
I will not neglect the present opportunity, since 
I hope to attain by it my principal object, that 
of bringing my friends into relation with a man 
whom I count among those who have in late 
years become actively attached to me, and who 
by their close sympathy have encouraged me to 
exertion and action, while by their noble, pure, 
and well-directed efforts, they have made me 
feel young again, and I, who attracted them, 
have been carried forward with them. This 
gentleman is the Author of the Work which is 
translated here, Mr. Thomas Carlyle, a Scotch- 
man, whose labours and superior attainments, as 
well as his personal environment, the following 
pages will make known. 

If I am right in my estimate of him and my 
Berlin friends, a pleasant and useful intercourse 
will be brought about, and both parties alike 
will, as I venture to hope, for many years rejoice 
in this legacy of mine and its fruitful results ; 
and in order that I may, in pleasing anticipa- 


tion, enjoy a lasting memorial, I would in con- 
clusion request you to grant it me. 

In faithful attachment and sympathy, 

J. W. v. Goethe. 

Weimar, April 1830. 

There has for some time been question of a 
Universal World - Literature, and indeed not 
without reason : for all nations, after having 
been clashed together by the most dreadful 
wars, and then severally settled down again, 
could not but notice that they had imbibed 
many a foreign thing, and here and there 
become conscious of spiritual needs hitherto 
unknown. Hence arose a sense of their rela- 
tionship as neighbours, and instead "of shutting 
themselves up as heretofore, the desire gradually 
awoke within them to become associated in a 
more or less free intellectual commerce. 

This movement has, it is true, existed but a 
short time, but still long enough to admit of 
our making some observations upon it, and of 
our deriving from it, as quickly as possible, 


as must be done to carry on commerce in 
material things, some profit and enjoyment. 

The translation of the present Work, written 
in memory of Schiller, can bring us scarcely 
anything new. The Author obtained his know- 
ledge from documents long since familiar to 
us ; and in general the matters here treated 
of have frequently been subjects of discussion 
and dispute among us. What must be highly 
gratifying, however, as may be confidently 
asserted, to those who honour Schiller, and 
therefore to every German, is to learn at first 
hand, how, across the sea, an earnest, aspiring, 
discriminating man of sensitive feeling has, in his 
best years, been affected, influenced, and stirred 
by Schiller's productions, and thus impelled to 
the further study of German Literature. 

To me, at least, it was touching to see how, 
even in the earliest, often harsh, almost crude 
productions of our departed friend, this clear 
and tranquil -hearted foreigner never failed to 
recognise the noble, right-minded, right-inten- 


tioned man ; and was thus able to form for 
himself the ideal of a mortal of the highest 

I therefore consider this Work, written by a 
young man, one to be commended to the youth 
of Germany ; for if lightsome youth may legiti- 
mately form a wish, it were surely this : to 
discern in every performance what is praise- 
worthy, good, fair, aspiring, in a word, the Ideal, 
and even in what is not typical, to discern the 
universal type and exemplar of man. 

This Work may further be of importance to 
us, if we seriously consider how Schiller's 
Works, to which we owe such varied culture, 
are valued and honoured by a foreigner too, 
as a source of his own, and how he, without 
definite intention of doing so, calmly and clearly 
shows this. 

Again, it may not be out of place to remark 
here, that writings which with us have nearly 
completed their work, are now, at the very 
moment when the omens are propitious to 


German Literature abroad, beginning to exert 
their powerful influence anew ; thereby showing 
how, at a certain stage of Literature, they will 
always be useful and effective. 

Thus, Herder's Ideas, for example, have so 
permeated the minds of the mass of readers 
with us, that only a few who now read the 
Ideas, are instructed by it for the first time, for 
by a hundred channels and in other connections 
they have become thoroughly familiar with what 
was, at the time of its publication, of great im- 
portance. This Work was recently translated 
into French, from the conviction that a multi- 
tude of educated men in France still required 
to be enlightened by these ideas. 

With respect to the Frontispiece of the 
present Volume, let this be noted : our. friend, 
when first we began our correspondence with 
him, was living in Edinburgh, where, in quietude, 
he was seeking, in the best sense, to educate 
himself; and we may say without vainglory, 
that he found in German Literature his chief 


furtherance. Later on he betook himself to a 
property of his, some ten German miles south- 
wards, in the County of Dumfries, in order that 
he might, while turning it to account, choose his 
own mode of life, and thus in independence 
pursue his honest literary studies. Here, in a 
mountainous district, through which the River 
Nith flows to the neighbouring sea, not far 
from the Town of Dumfries, at a place called 
Craigenputtock, he, with a beautiful and highly- 
accomplished Consort, established his simple 
country home, faithful drawings of which have 
been the immediate occasion of these words. 

Accomplished geniuses, sympathetic souls 
who yearn after the good that is far away, and 
feel disposed to do good from afar, can 
scarcely refrain from the wish to have brought 
before their eyes the portrait of honoured, be- 
loved, and far-distant persons, and also a picture 
of their dwelling-place and of their immediate 

How often are pictures of Petrarch's abode 


in Vaucluse, or Tasso's dwelling at Sorrento 
reproduced even to this day ! And is not 
the island in the Lake of Bienne, which 
afforded shelter to Rousseau, a locality which 
can never be too often represented for his 
admirers ? 

With this same feeling, I sought to obtain 
a picture of the surroundings of my distant 
friends, and I was the more desirous to have 
one of the dwelling of Mr. Thomas Carlyle, 
because he had chosen his abode, under the 
55th degree of Latitude, in an almost wild, 
mountainous region. 

I trust that by means of the accompanying 
faithful reproduction of the original drawings 
recently sent to me, an ornament may be added 
to this Volume, and that a congenial feeling of 
pleasure may be given to the present, perhaps 
still more to the future reader ; and. thus, as 
well as by extracts inserted from the letters 
of the honoured writer, the interest in a noble, 
general intercourse between all nations of the 
world may be increased. 

[Here follows a translated extract from 


Carlyle's Letter to Goethe of 25th September 
1828. It begins, " You inquire with such 
affection touching our present abode and em- 
ployments, " and ends with the last sentence but 
one in the letter, — " Surely you will write to me 
again, and ere long, that I may still feel myself 
united to you." (See supra, pp. 124-126.)] 

We Germans, well-disposed to those on every 
side of us, and aiming at the most comprehen- 
sive culture, have for a long time past valued 
the services of eminent Scotchmen. We are not 
ignorant of what they formerly accomplished 
in Natural Science, through which the French 
afterwards acquired such great superiority. 

In more recent times, we have not failed to 
recognise the praiseworthy influence which their 
Philosophy has had in diverting the course of 
Thought among the French, by leading them, 
from a stubborn sensualism to a more tractable 
state of mind, in the direction of Common Sense. 
We have been indebted to them for much pro- 
found insight concerning the most important 


On the other hand, we have, until recently, 
been compelled to see our own ethical and 
aesthetic endeavours treated in their Journals 
in such a way that it remained doubtful 
whether want of insight, or simple ill-will 
predominated ; whether it was a question of 
a superficial and shallow view or of unfriendly 
prejudice. Nevertheless we regarded this 
circumstance with patience, having indeed 
always had enough of the like to endure in 
our own country. In late years, however, we 
have been rejoiced by the most friendly 
recognition from those regions, which we feel 
in duty bound to return, and concerning 
which we propose in these pages to give in- 
formation, so far as may be needful, to our 
well-disposed countrymen. 

Mr. Thomas Carlyle had already translated 
Wilhelm Meister, when, in 1825, he published 
the present Life of Schiller. In 1827 there 
appeared in four Volumes German Romance, 
in which from the Novels and Tales of 


such German Authors as Musaus, La Motte 
Fouque, Tieck, Hoffmann, Jean Paul and 
Goethe, he gave such selections as were likely 
to be best suited to his Nation. 

The accounts of the life, writings, and ten- 
dency of these Poets and Prose-writers, prefixed 
to their respective sections, bear witness to the 
diligent and sympathetic manner in which this 
friend sought to inform himself, as far as pos- 
sible, concerning the personality and position 
of each writer, and to the fact that he thus 
found the right way of further perfecting his 
own knowledge. 

In the Edinburgh Periodicals, particularly 
in those specifically devoted to Foreign Litera- 
ture, are to be found, in addition to the German 
Authors already named, Ernst Schulz, Klinge- 
mann, Franz Horn, Zacharias Werner, Count 
Platen, and many others, all of whom have 
been introduced, and had judgment passed 
upon them, by various critics, but chiefly by 
our friend. 

And here it is most important to remark 
that these writers take each particular work 


as a text and occasion for expressing their 
opinions, and giving their verdict, in a masterly 
manner, on the whole field of investigation, as 
well as on the individual work. 

These Edinburgh Reviews, whether devoted 
to domestic or general topics, or to Foreign 
Literature especially, deserve the attentive con- 
sideration of the friends of knowledge, for it is 
extremely noteworthy that in these Articles, a 
profound earnestness goes hand in hand with 
the freest survey, and a stern patriotism with a 
clear unmixed spirit of liberal thought. 

As now from that region we enjoy, in what 
so closely concerns us here, a sincere and pure 
sympathy in these ethic and aesthetic efforts 
of ours, which may be regarded as a special 
trait in the German character, we must now 
on our part look about for whatever of the 
same sort lies near their own hearts. I refer 
at once to the name of Burns, concerning 
whom a letter of Mr. Carlyle's contained the 
following passage. 


" The only thing of any moment I have 
written since I came hither is an Essay on 
Burns. Perhaps you have never heard of this 
Burns, and yet he was a man of the most 
decisive genius ; but born in the rank of a 
Peasant, and miserably wasted away by the 
complexities of his strange situation ; so that 
all he effected was comparatively a trifle, and 
he died before middle age. 

"We English, especially we Scotch, love 
Burns more than any other Poet we have had 
for centuries. It has often struck me to remark 
that he was born a few months only before 
Schiller, in the year 1759; and that neither of 
these two men ever heard the others name ; 
but that they shone as stars in opposite hemi- 
spheres, the little Atmosphere of the Earth 
intercepting their mutual light." 1 

Yet Robert Burns was better known to 
us than our friend conjectured. The charm- 
ing Poem John Bar ley-Corn had come to us 

1 From Carlyle's Letter of 25th September 1828. See 
supra, p. 123. 


anonymously, and being deservedly prized, led 
to many attempts to appropriate it in our own 
language. John Barley- Corn [Hans Gersten- 
korn), a valiant man, has many enemies, who 
incessantly persecute and harm him, at length 
even threaten to kill him outright. From all 
these injuries, however, he finally emerges 
triumphant, for the special blessing and cheer 
of eager beer-drinkers. In this lively, happy 
anthropomorphism Burns is at once seen to be 
a genuine Poet. 

On further investigation, we found this 
Poem in the Edition of his Works of 1822, to 
which a Sketch of his Life is prefixed, instruct- 
ing us, in some measure at least, as to his 
outward circumstances. Those of his Poems 
that we have made our own, convinced us of 
his extraordinary talent, and we regretted that 
the Scottish dialect proved a hindrance precisely 
where he must have attained his finest and most 
natural expression. On the whole, however, we 
have carried our studies so far that we can sub- 
scribe to the laudatory statement quoted below, 
as agreeing with our own conviction. 


For the rest, how far this Burns of ours may 
be known in Germany beyond what the Con- 
versations-Lexicon reports of him, I should be 
unable to say, being ignorant of the new literary 
movements in Germany ; still I would at any 
rate set the friends of Foreign Literature upon 
the right road, by mentioning the Life of 
Robert Burns, by J. G. Lockhart, Edinburgh, 
1828, — criticised by our friend in the Edin- 
burgh Review, December 1828. 

The following passages translated from this 
Article will, it may be hoped, arouse an eager 
desire to become thoroughly acquainted with 
this Work, and with the man himself. 

" Burns was born in an age the most prosaic 
Britain had yet seen, and in a condition the 
most disadvantageous, where his mind, if it 
accomplished aught, must accomplish it under 
the pressure of continual bodily toil, nay of 
penury and desponding apprehension of the 
worst evils, and with no furtherance but such 
knowledge as dwells in a poor man's hut, and 


the rhymes of a Ferguson or Ramsay for his 
standard of beauty, he sinks not under all these 
impediments : through the fogs and darkness of 
that obscure region, his lynx eye discerns the 
true relations of the world and human life ; he 
grows into intellectual strength, and trains him- 
self into intellectual expertness. Impelled by 
the expansive movement of his own irrepressible 
soul, he struggles forward into the general view ; 
and with haughty modesty lays down before us, 
as the fruit of his labour, a gift, which Time 
has now pronounced imperishable. 

" A true Poet, a man in whose heart resides 
some effluence of Wisdom, some tone of the 
' Eternal Melodies,' is the most precious gift 
that can be bestowed on a generation : we see 
in him a freer, purer development of whatever 
is noblest in ourselves ; his life is a rich lesson 
to us ; and we mourn his death as that of a 
benefactor who loved and taught us. 

" Such a gift had Nature, in her bounty, 
bestowed on us in Robert Burns ; but with 
queenlike indifference she cast it from her hand, 
like a thing of no moment ; and it was defaced 


and torn asunder, as an idle bauble, before we 
recognised it. To the ill-starred Burns was 
given the power of making man's life more 
venerable, but that of wisely guiding his own 
life was not given. Destiny, — for so in our 
ignorance we must speak, — his faults, the faults 
of others, proved too hard for him ; and that 
spirit, which might have soared could it but 
have walked, soon sank to the dust, its glorious 
faculties trodden underfoot in the blossom ; 
and died, we may almost say, without ever 
having lived. And so kind and warm a soul ; 
so full of inborn riches, of love to all living and 
lifeless things ! The ' Daisy ' falls not unheeded 
under his ploughshare ; [nor the ruined nest of 
that ' wee, cowering, timorous beastie,' cast forth, 
after all its provident pains, to ' thole the sleety 
dribble and cranreuch cauld' 1 ]. The hoar visage 
of Winter delights him ; he dwells with a sad 
and oft -returning fondness in these scenes of 
solemn desolation ; but the voice of the tempest 

1 Goethe translates the words in brackets : * So wenig als 
das wohlbesorgte Nest der furchtsameii Feldmaits, das er her- 


becomes an anthem to his ears ; he loves to 
walk in the sounding woods, for ' it raises his 
thoughts to Him that walketh on the wings of 
the wind' A true Poet-soul, for it needs but to 
be struck, and the sound it yields will be music ! 
" What warm, all - comprehending fellow- 
feeling ; what trustful, boundless love ; what 
generous exaggeration of the object loved ! 
His rustic friend, his nut-brown maiden, are no 
longer mean and homely, but a hero and a 
queen, whom he prizes as the paragons of 
Earth. The rough scenes of Scottish life, not 
seen by him in any Arcadian illusion, but in 
the rude contradiction, in the smoke and soil 
of a too harsh reality, are still lovely to him : 
Poverty is indeed his companion, but Love 
also, and Courage ; the simple feelings, the 
worth, the nobleness, that dwell under the 
straw roof, are dear and venerable to his heart : 
and thus over the lowest provinces of man's 
existence he pours the glory of his own soul ; 
and they rise, in shadow and sunshine, softened 
and brightened into a beauty which other eyes 
discern not in the highest. 


" He has a just self-consciousness, which too 
often degenerates into pride ; yet it is a noble 
pride, for defence, not for offence ; no cold sus- 
picious feeling, but a frank and social one. The 
Peasant Poet bears himself, we might say, like 
a King in exile : he is cast among the low, and 
feels himself equal to the highest ; yet he claims 
no rank, that none may be disputed to him. 
The forward he can repel, the supercilious he 
can subdue ; pretensions of wealth or ancestry 
are of no avail with him ; there is a fire in that 
dark eye, under which the ' insolence of con- 
descension ' cannot thrive. In his abasement, 
in his extreme need, he forgets not for a 
moment the majesty of Poetry and Manhood. 
And yet, far as he feels himself above common 
men, he wanders not apart from them, but mixes 
warmly in their interests ; nay, throws himself 
into their arms, and, as it were, entreats them 
to love him. It is moving to see how, in his 
darkest despondency, this proud being still 
seeks relief from friendship ; unbosoms himself, 
often to the unworthy ; and, amid tears, strains 
to his glowing heart a heart that knows only 


the name of friendship. And yet he was ' quick 
to learn'; a man of keen vision, before whom 
common disguises afforded no concealment. 
His understanding saw through the hollo wness 
even of accomplished deceivers ; but there was 
a generous credulity in his heart. And so did 
our Peasant show himself among us ; 'a soul 
like an ^Eolian harp, in whose strings the 
vulgar wind, as it passed through them, 
changed itself into articulate melody.' And 
this was he for whom the world found no fitter 
business than quarrelling with smugglers and 
vintners, computing excise -dues upon tallow, 
and gauging ale -barrels ! In such toils was 
that mighty Spirit sorrowfully wasted : and a 
hundred years may pass on, before another 
such is given us to waste." * 

And as we wish the Germans joy on their 
Schiller, so, with the same feeling, will we 

1 It will be observed that in this extract several passages 
have been omitted by Goethe. Compare Carlyle's Essay on 
Burns, — Miscellanies (Library edition, 1869), vol. ii. pp. 8-12. 


congratulate the Scotch. They have indeed 
bestowed on our friend Schiller so much atten- 
tion and sympathy, that it would be but just if 
we, in like manner, should introduce their Burns 
to our people. Some young member of the 
honourable Society to which as a whole the 
present pages are dedicated, would find his 
time and labour abundantly rewarded, should 
he determine to perform this friendly service in 
return, to a Nation so worthy of honour, and 
faithfully carry out his undertaking. We 
esteem this highly - praised Robert Burns 
amongst the first poetical spirits which the 
past century has produced. 

In the year 1829, a very neat and attrac- 
tively printed little octavo Volume came to our 
hands : Catalogtie of German Publications, 
selected and systematically arranged for W* H. 
Roller and Jul. Cahlmann, London. 

This little book, compiled with special 
knowledge of German Literature, in a manner 
to facilitate the survey of it, does honour to 


the compiler as well as to the publishers, who 
seriously undertake the important office of in- 
troducing foreign literature to their own 
country ; and who do this, indeed, not only in 
such wise that one can see what it has produced 
in every department, but also so as to attract and 
satisfy the scholar and the thoughtful reader, 
as well as those who merely seek for sentiment 
and entertainment. Every German writer and 
man of letters who has distinguished himself 
in any department, will be eager to open this 
catalogue to see if there is mention of him, 
and if his Works have been courteously ad- 
mitted with others of a similar sort. It will 
be to the interest of all German Publishers to 
learn how their wares are regarded across the 
Channel, what value is set on each, and they 
will neglect no means of establishing and ac- 
tively maintaining relations with men of such 
serious purpose. 

As now I introduce and bring into light the 
Life of Schiller, written so many years ago, 


by our Scottish friend, and upon which he 
looks back with a becoming modesty, may he 
permit me to add some of his most recent 
utterances, which shall best show our common 
progress up to this time. 

Thomas Carlyle to Goethe. 

22d December 1829. 

" I have read the Brief wechsel a second time 
with no little satisfaction, and even to-day am 
sending off an Essay on Schiller, grounded on 
that Work, for the Foreign Review. It will 
gratify you to learn that a knowledge and 
appreciation of Foreign, especially of German, 
Literature, is spreading with increased rapidity 
over all the domain of the English tongue ; so 
that almost at the Antipodes, in New Holland 
itself, the wise of your country are by this time 
preaching their wisdom. I have heard lately 
that even in Oxford and Cambridge, our two 
English universities, which have all along been 
regarded as the strongholds of Insular pride 


and prejudice, there is a strange stir in this 
matter. Your Niebuhr has found an able trans- 
lator in Cambridge ; and in Oxford two or 
three Germans already find employment as 
teachers of their language ; the new light con- 
tained in which may well dazzle certain eyes. 
Of the benefits that must in the end result from 
all this no man can be doubtful : let nations, 
like individuals, but know one another and 
mutual hatred will give place to mutual help- 
fulness ; and instead of natural enemies, as 
neighbouring countries are sometimes called, 
we shall all be natural friends." 1 

If, now, in view of all that precedes, the 
hope flatters us, that a harmony of Nations, a 
universal goodwill, will by degrees come into 
existence, by means of a closer acquaintance 
with different languages and ways of thinking, 
I venture to speak of an important influence of 
German Literature, which, in a special case, 
may perhaps prove of great effect. 

1 See supra, pp. 1 61-163. 


Namely this, It is well enough known that 
the inhabitants of the Three British Kingdoms 
do not live in quite the best mutual understand- 
ing ; but that, on the contrary, one neighbour 
finds in the other ground of censure sufficient 
to justify himself in a secret aversion. 

I am convinced that, as the German ethic 
and aesthetic Literature spreads through the 
Three Kingdoms, there will, at the same time, 
arise a quiet community of Philo-Germans, the 
members of which, in their affection for a 
Fourth, nearly-related Nation, will feel them- 
selves united, nay blended together. 


The following little note by Goethe, which he had intended 
to accompany the Kastchen, announced in his Letter to 
Carlyle of the 6th of June 1830 (Letter XXVIL, see p. 
194), had evidently never reached its destination; the 
original being now in private hands in Weimar. It was 
printed in the Grenzboten (Goethiana: Zu Goethes Verhalt- 
nis zu Carlyle, von Ewald Flugel), iii. 1885 ; but it did not 
reach us in time to permit of its being inserted in its proper 

Sendung an Herrn Carlyle. 

[14th June 1830.] 
i. Goethe's Farbenlehre, zwey Bde. in 8., u. ein Heft 
Tafeln, in 4 ; in letzterem finden sich : 

2. Zwey Kupferstiche beygelegt : (a) von Goethe's Garten- 
haus im Ilmthale und (b) dessen Haus in der Stadt. Beym 
ersteren wird man sich der Bemerkung nicht enthalten 
dass solches gleichfalls drey Fenster, wie das zu Craigen- 
puttock hat, und mir mehrere Jahre zur Sommer-und 
Winterwohnung diente. Nur ungern verliess ich es, um 
mancher Sorge und Miihe des Stadtischen Aufenthaltes 
entgegen zu gehen. 

3. Hrn. Dr. Wachler's Vorlesungen iiber die Geschichte 
der deutschen National Literatur. Zwey Bande. 8. 1 8 1 8-1 9. 


4. Ueber Werden und Wirken der Literatur zunachst 
in Beziehung auf Deutschlands Literatur unserer Zeit v. 
Dr. Wachler. Breslau 18 19. 

5. Schillerisch-Goethescher Briefwechsel 3-6. Bd. incl. 
und das ganze also abgeschlossen. 

6. Das Chaos, Wochenblatt, Manuscript fur Freunde. 
Gesellige Scherze einer geistreichen Weimarischen Gesell- 
schaft, wie aus dem Inhalt des mehreren zu ersehen ist. 
Es darf eigentlich Niemanden mitgetheilt werden als wer 
dazu Beytrage liefert, da nun aber wie zu ersehen ist, auch 
Mitarbeiter von Edinburg datiren, so ist es billig dass auch 
ein Exemplar nach Schottland wandere. Man bittet die 
Freunde in der Grafschaft Dumfries ihre bisherige Gunst 
fortzusetzen. Leider kann man kein vollstandiges Ex- 
emplar schicken, die Gesellschaft war im Anfang sehr 
klein und werden nur wenig Exemplare gedruckt um das 
Abschreiben zu vermeiden ; nach und nach wuchs der 
Antheil, die Auflage ward starker aber die ersten Blatter 
stufenweise nicht mehr zu haben. Mogen diese sibyllin- 
ischen [Blatter x ] Productionen, entstanden auf den spatesten 
Kalkflozen des Continents, den iibermeerischen Freunden 
auf ihrem Urgranit einige anmuthige Stunden verleihen. 
Von Ottilien habe ich die herzlichsten Griisse beyzufiigen, 
sie ist ganz eigentlich der Redacteur dieses Blattes und 
dirigirt mit einigen treuen verstandigen Freunden die 
ganze mitunter bedenkliche Angelegenheit. 

7. Der Abschluss der Uebersetzung Ihrer Schillerischen 
Biographic Mit der nachsten Sendung hoffe das ausges- 
tattete Werklein zu iiberschicken. Schon einiges deshalb 
habe in meinem letzten Briefe vom 7. Juni vermeldet. 

8. Auch liegt eine gar lobliche Trauerrede auf unsre 

1 Written and crossed out in MS. 


jiingst verstorbene, hochst geschatzte und geliebte Frau 
Grossherzogin bey. 

Soviet treulichst u. eiligst 

damit kein Aufenthalt sey } 
urn baldige Nachricht der Ankunft bittend 

Weimar, den 14. funi 1830. 

Contents of Packet for Mr. Carlyle. 

1. Goethe's Farbenlehre, two vols. 8vo, and a set of 
plates, in 4to ; along with the latter are : 

2. Two Copper -plate Engravings : (a) of Goethe's 
Garden-house in Ilmthal and (b) his House in town. As 
to the first, it may be remarked that it has three windows, 
like the house at Craigenputtock ; and that it served me 
for several years as dwelling-place both in summer and in 
winter. I was loath to leave it and to encounter the many 
cares and troubles of a residence in town. 

3. Dr. Wachler's Lectures on the History of German 
National Literature. Two vols., 8 vo, 18 18-19. * 

4. Concerning the Growth and Influence of Literature^ 
especially of the German Literature of our time, by Dr. 
Wachler. Breslau 18 19. 

5. Schiller - Goethe Correspondence. Vols. 3-6 (the 
whole being thus completed). 

6. The Chaos ; a weekly paper, for private circulation, 
in manuscript. Social pleasantries of an intellectual 
Weimar Society, as is obvious from the contents of most of 


the numbers. Strictly speaking, its circulation is confined 
to contributors ; but as it appears that certain of the fellow- 
labourers date from Edinburgh, it is surely fair that at least 
one copy should find its way to Scotland. A request is 
made that the favours from our friends in the county of 
Dumfries may be continued. Unfortunately a complete 
copy cannot be sent. It was at first a very small society 
and only a few copies were printed, merely to save tran- 
scribing. Gradually the interest in it increased, and the 
issue became larger, but by degrees the early numbers were 
exhausted. May these Sibylline products, sprung from the 
most recent Chalk Deposits of the Continent, afford some 
pleasant hours to our friends, who are across the sea on 
their Primary Granite. I am to add kindest greetings 
from Ottilie. She is in reality the sole Editor of this 
Periodical, and, with the aid of a few faithful intelligent 
friends, takes the whole direction of the, at times, ticklish 

7. The conclusion of the translation of your Life of 
Schiller. By the next despatch I hope to send the little 
work complete ; I have already given you some news of it 
in my Letter of the 7th of June. 

8. There is also enclosed a much to be commended 
Funeral-oration on our recently deceased, most esteemed 
and beloved Grand Duchess. 

No more lest I delay the Packet. Hoping for speedy 
news of its arrival, 

Most faithfully, and in greatest haste, 


Weimar, i^th fine 1830. 



Weimar, d. 20 Octbr. 1832. 

Mein theurer Freund — Ihr lieber Brief hat mir die 
Versicherung gegeben dass unsere schon seit Jahren beste- 
hende Verbindung fortbestehen und vielleicht noch inniger 
gekniipft werden wird. 

Ihren ersten Artikel iiber Goethe in dem Magazine habe 
ich auf Verlangen vieler Freunde iibersetzt ; und [er] wird 
in diesen Tagen im Morgenblatt erscheinen. Ueber den 
zweyten bedeutenderen Artikel redet man viel in Deutsch- 
land und ich wiirde ihn auch sogleich iibersetzt haben, 
wenn nicht meine ganze Zeit mit der Redaction der nach- 
gelassenen 15 Bande hingenommen ware. Doch hore ich 
dass Herr v. Cotta ihn wird iibersetzen lassen. 

Heute sende ich Ihnen zwey bedeutende Dinge : 1. Eine 
vorziigliche Schrift iiber Goethe von Herrn Canzler v. Miiller, 
der Ihnen ein Exemplar dedicirt hat. Herr v. Miiller ist 
ein vieljahriger Freund von Goethe weshalb er auch von 
ihm zum Executor des Testaments ernannt worden. Er 
hat bey seiner trefflich geschriebenen Schrift Quellen 
benutzen konnen die jedem anderen nicht frey standen. 
Das Biichlein wird fur Sie von hohem Interesse seyn 
und Sie werden es sicherlich zu einem ferneren Artikel 
iiber Goethe benutzen. 2. Sende ich Ihnen das letzte 
Heft von Kunst und Alterthum das am 6n. Bande noch 
fehlte und das von uns Freunden herausgegeben worden. 
Auch dieses Heft wird fiir Sie brauchbar und von manchem 
Interesse seyn. 

Ich bin sehr beschaftigt mit der Herausgabe der nach- 
gelassenen Werke Goethes wovon die ersten 5 Bande in 
wenig Monaten erscheinen. Diese erste Lieferung wird 
enthalten ; 


1. Den zvveyten Theil des Faust. • 

2. Erstes Manuscript v. Gotz v. Berlichingen. 

3. Schweizer Reise von 1797. 

4. Ueber Kunst. 

5. Theater und Deutsche Literatur. 

In die zweyte Lieferung welche Ostern erscheint wird 
kommen : 

6. Auslandische Literatur. 

7. Gedichte. 

8. Aus meinem Leben (die Zeit von 1775). 

9. Verschiedene einzelne Sachen. 
10. Allgemeines iiber Natur. 

Dann die 3te. Lieferung welche Michaeli 1833 erscheint 
wird alle naturwissenschaftlichen Werke enthalten, wodurch 
denn audi die Farbenlehre sich nach England verbreiten 

Ich bin nun mit der Redaction dieser bedeutenden 
Schriften Tag und Nacht beschaftigt, und habe keinen 
anderen Gedanken als dieses so gut zu machen als in 
meinen Kriiften steht. 

1st dieses geschehen so werde ich meine Conversationen 
mit Goethe herausgeben wovon ich hoffentlich einen guten 
Namen und etwas Geld haben werde. 

Stunden an junge Englander habe ich schon seit zwey 
Jahren nicht mehr gegeben. Ich hatte bloss den Zweck 
das unentbehrliche Englisch dabey zu lernen. 

Ich zweifle dass ich kiinftig in Weimar bleiben werde. 
Wohin ich aber mich wenden soil weiss ich noch nicht. 

Mr. Reeve ist zwey Tage hier gewesen. Er ist ein 
wohlunterrichteter sehr liebenswiirdiger junger Mann. Er 
ist fast die ganze Zeit bey Frau v. Goethe gewesen, denn 
ich war zu beschaftigt um viel mit ihm zu seyn. Er ist 
nach Miinchen zuriickgegangen. 


Ein hiesiger beriihmter Kupferstecher, Herr Schwerd- 
geburth, hat vorigen Winter kurzvor Goethes Tode ein Portrait 
von ihm gemacht das zu den vorziiglichsten gehort die je 
erschienen. Er sendet Ihnen ein Blatt, das der Abhand- 
lung des Herrn v. Miiller beyliegt. Der Kiinstler hat die 
Absicht einige hundert Abdriicke von diesem Bilde an den 
Kunsthandler Ackermann nach London zu senden urn sie 
an die englischen Freunde Goethes in den drey Konig- 
reichen zu verkaufen. Vielleicht haben Sie Gelegenheit 
durch ein giinstiges Wort in offentlichen Blattern auf dieses 
Bild aufmerksam zu machen. 

Ich hoffe Sie werden von Frau v. Goethe bald einen 
Brief selber sehen. Ich bitte um meine herzlichen Griisse 
an Madame Carlyle ; und verbleibe, Ihr treu verbundener 



Weimar, 20th October 1832. 

My dear Friend — Your valued letter has given me 
the assurance that the connection between us, which has 
already existed for years, will continue, and perhaps be- 
come still more closely knit. 

At the desire of many friends I have translated your 
first Article on Goethe, 1 and it will appear very shortly in 
the Morgenblatt. There is much talk in Germany about 
the more important second Article, and this also I should 

1 "Death of Goethe," in the New Mo7ithly Magazine, 
No. CXXXVIII. (see Miscellanies, vol. iii. 385). The more 
important article " Goethe's Works " appeared in the Foreign 
Quarterly Review, No. XIX. (see Miscellanies, vol. iv. 109). 


have translated immediately, had not my whole time been 
taken up with editing the fifteen posthumous Volumes. I 
hear, however, that Herr von Cotta is about to have it 

I send you to-day two things of importance : 
i. An excellent Essay on Goethe by the Chancellor von 
Miiller, who has inscribed a copy to you. Herr von Miiller 
was for many years a friend of Goethe, and was appointed 
by him the Executor of his Will. In his admirably written 
Essay, he has been able to make use of sources of informa- 
tion which were not available to others. The little work 
will be of great interest to you, and you will surely make 
use of it for another Article on Goethe. 2. I send you 
the last part of Kunst und Alterthum, which was still want- 
ing to the sixth volume, and which has been published by 
us, his friends. This part will also be useful, as well as 
exceedingly interesting, to you. 

I am very busy with the publication of Goethe's Posthu- 
mous Works, of which the first five volumes will appear in 
a few months. This first Section will contain : 

1. The second part of Faust. 

2. The first manuscript of Gotz von Berlichingen. 

3. Swiss Journey of 1797. 

4. Concerning Art. 

5. The Theatre ; German Literature. 

The second Section, which will appear at Easter, will 
include : 

6. Foreign Literature. 

7. Poems. 

8. "From my Life" [Dichtung und Wahrheit\ (the 
period of 1775). 

9. Miscellaneous detached Pieces. 
10. General Views of Nature. 


Then the third Section, which is to appear at Michaelmas 
1833, will contain all the works on Natural Philosophy, 
by means of which the Farbenlehre also will now become 
known in England. I am busy day and night with the 
editing of these important papers, and have no other thought 
than to do this as well as lies in my power. 

This done, I shall publish my Conversations with Goethe, 
from which I hope to obtain both good repute and a little 

For these last two years past I have not given any 
lessons to young Englishmen. My only object in giving 
them was to learn the, to me indispensable, English language. 
I doubt if I shall remain in Weimar for the future. But 
in what direction I shall turn my steps, I do not yet know. 

Mr. [Henry] Reeve has been here for two days. He is 
a well-informed and very charming young man. He has 
spent almost the whole time with Madame von Goethe, for 
I was too busy to be much with him. He has gone back 
to Munich. 

Herr Schwerdgeburth, an engraver of repute here, did 
a portrait of Goethe last winter shortly before his death, 
one of the best that has ever appeared. He sends you a 
copy, which accompanies Herr von M tiller's Essay. The 
artist intends to send some hundred impressions of this 
portrait to the Picture-dealer Ackermann in London, that 
they may be sold to Goethe's English friends in the Three 
Kingdoms. Perhaps you may have an opportunity to draw 
attention to this portrait, by a favourable word in the public 

I hope you will soon receive a letter from Madame 
von Goethe herself. Pray give my cordial greetings to 
Mrs. Carlyle. I remain, your faithful, obliged friend, 



On the 2d of December 1832 Carlyle writes to 
his brother Dr. Carlyle, then at Rome : 

" I get more earnest, graver not unhappier, every day : 
the whole Creation seems more and more Divine to me, 
the Natural more and more Supernatural. Out of Goethe, 
who is my near neighbour, so to speak, there is no writing 
that speaks to me (mir anspricht) like the Hebrew Scriptures, 
though they lie far remote. Earnestness of Soul was never 
shown as there. Ernst 1st das Leben ; and ever to the last, 
soul resembles soul. — Here, however, speaking of Goethe, 
I must tell you that last week, as our Mother and I were 
passing Sundaywell, a little parcel was handed in which 
proved to be from Eckermann at Weimar. It made me 
glad and sad. There was a medal in it, struck by Bovy 
since the Poet's death : Ottilie had sent it me. Then a gilt 
cream-coloured Essay on Goethe's Practische Wirksamkeit 
by one F. von Miiller, a Weimar Kunstfreund and intimate 
of deceased's, with an inscription on it by him. Finally the 
third Heft of the sixth volume of Kunst und Alterthum, 
which had partly been in preparation and now posthum- 
ously produced itself; to me a touching kind of sight. 
Eckermann wrote a very kind letter, explaining how busy 
he was with redacting the fifteen volumes of Nachgelassenen 
Schriften, the titles of all which he gave me. There is a 
volume of Dichtung und Wahrheit, and the completion of 
Faust. These are the most remarkable. I have read 
Miiller's Essay ; which is sensible enough ; several good 
things also are in the Heft ; towards the last page of which 
I came upon these words (by Miiller speaking of Goethe) : 
1 Unter denjilngern Britten Ziehen Bulwer (?) und Carlyle ihn 
gam vorziiglich an, und das schone reine Naturell des letztern, 
seine ruhige, zartsinnige Auffassungsgabe steigem Goethe's 


Anerkennung bis zur liebevollsten Zuneigung. 11 This of 
liebevollste Zuneigung was extremely precious to me. Alas, 
und das Alles ist hin ! Ottilie promises to write, but I 
think not:' 


Weimar, d. ion. Novbr. 1833. 
Dieses, mein werther Freund, ist nun der dritte Brief 
den ich Ihnen schreibe, ohne erfahren zu haben, dass irgend 
etwas in Ihre Hande gekommen ist. Im vorigen Winter 
ging ein Paket an Sie durch die Herren Parish et Comp. 
in Hamburg. Wir sendeten Ihnen das letzte Heft von 
Kunst und Alterthum, nach Goethe's Tode von uns hinter- 
bliebenen Freunden herausgegeben. Auch hatte ich eine 
sehr bedeutende kleine Schrift beygelegt : Goethe in seiner 
practischen Wtrksamkeit, von Herrn Geheimenrath v. Miiller. 
Da der Verfasser ein langjahriger Freund Goethe's und ihm 
iiberdiess als Testaments -Vollstrecker Quellen zu Gebote 
standen woraus kein Anderer schopfen konnte, so ist jene 
kleine Schrift voll der bedeutendsten Details ; und ich hatte 
die HofTnung dass Sie daraus fiir die literarische Welt in 
England angenehme Schatze ziehen wiirden. Auch hatte 
ich das letzte Portrait von Goethe beygelegt. Wir haben 
nun keine Nachricht dass diess alles bey Ihnen angekommen 
ist ; auch scheint es dass Sie meinen Brief vom Anfang des 
letzten Sommers nicht erhalten haben. Unterdess sind 

1 Translation : " Among the younger Englishmen, Bulwer 
and Carlyle quite especially attract him. The beautiful, pure 
nature of the latter, with his calm delicate faculty of perception, 
raises Goethe's recognition of him to the warmest affection." 
(See Kunst und Alterthum^ Cotta, 1832, Band vi., 3W H e ft> 


nun Goethe's Nachgelassene Werke bis zum ion. Bande 
erschienen und wir erwarten die letzten 5 in einigen 
Wochen. Wir mochten Ihnen diese 15 Bande schicken, 
aber vorher mochten wir erfahren, ob sie nicht vielleicht 
schon durch den englischen Buchhandel in Ihren Handen 
sind, und ob die Transportkosten nicht vielleicht mehr 
betragen als der Preis dieser Werke im englischen Buch- 

Heute sende ich Ihnen die Ankiindigung und den 
Vorbericht des Briefwechsels zwischen Goethe und 
Zelter. Es sind bereits in diesen Tagen die beyden ersten 
Bande davon erschienen, und ich mache Sie aufmerksam 
auf dieses hochst bedeutende Werk, das fur Sie, wie fur alle 
iibrigen Freunde Goethe's in England, von nicht geringem 
Interesse seyn wird. 

Nun mochte ich bald etwas von Ihnen horen, besonders 
auch was Sie jetzt arbeiten, und ob in dem Laufe des 
letzten Jahres nicht irgend eine Abhandlung in Bezug auf 
Goethe und die deutsche Literatur, in einem der englischen 
Reviews von Ihnen erschienen ist. Da die vorziiglichsten 
englischen Journale nach Weimar kommen, so wiirden Sie 
hier eifrige Leser finden. 

Ich sage die herzlichsten Griisse an Madame Carlyle, 
und schliesse mit dem Wunsch eines baldigen Briefes von 

Ihr treuer Freund, 



Weimar, \oth November 1833. 

This, my esteemed friend, is now the third letter I 
write to you, without having learnt if any one of them has 


reached you. Last winter a parcel went to you by Messrs. 
Parish and Co. of Hamburg. We sent you the last part of 
Kunst und Alterthum, published after Goethe's death by us, 
his surviving friends. I also added a very important little 
paper : " Goethe, in his Official Capacity," by Herr von 
Muller, Privy-Counsellor. As the author was a friend of 
Goethe's of many years' standing, as well as Executor of 
his Will, sources of information were at his command, 
which were not available to any one else ; his little paper 
is full of the most important details, and I had the hope 
that you would draw from it welcome treasures for the 
English literary world. I also sent the last portrait of 
Goethe. We have up to this time no information that 
all this has reached you, and it also seems that you have 
not received my letter of the beginning of last summer. 
Meanwhile Goethe's Posthumous Works as far as the tenth 
volume have appeared, and we expect the last five in a few 
weeks. We should like to send you these fifteen volumes, 
but we want first to learn whether, by chance, they have 
not already reached you through the English booksellers, 
and whether the cost of carriage will not perhaps amount 
to more than the price of the books in England. 

I send you to-day the announcement of the Correspond- 
ence between Goethe and Zelter, and the Preface to it. 
The first two volumes of this have already appeared within 
these last days, and I call your attention to this most im- 
portant work, which will be of no small interest to you as 
well as to Goethe's other friends in England. 

I trust that I may soon hear something from you, 
especially of what you are at present at work upon, and 
whether in the course of the last year, some essay by you 
on Goethe and German Literature has not appeared in one 
of the English Reviews ? As the leading English Journals 


come to Weimar, you would find eager readers here. I 
send my most cordial greetings to Mrs. Carlyle, and close 
with the hope of receiving a letter from you very soon. 

Your faithful friend, 


The original of the following Letter is said to be 
lost ; in any case it is not discoverable. Eckermann 
printed a translation of it ; and from his translation l 
it is here rendered back into English. 

Carlyle to Eckermann. 

Craigenputtock, 6th May 1834. 

My dear Eckermann — Your kind Letter of the 10th of 
November 1833 reached me at last, after our long stormy 
winter, a few days ago, — a belated but highly welcome 
arrival. It is painful to think how our Correspondence has 
gone astray of late : your Letter of last summer never ar- 
rived here and two of mine seem to have been lost. My 
last from you was the Weimar Packet of the previous winter, 
which, as I very well remember, reached me (by the hands 
of a rustic on his way to us) one stormy day, among the 
mountains, in the valley of Glenessland. I hurriedly opened 
it, and in spite of the wind, took a hasty glance. I found 
there the things you mention : a Letter from you, the last 
part of Kunst und Alterthum, Herr von Miiller's interesting 
Brochure, both of these with an extremely friendly inscrip- 
tion in his own hand, and lastly Herr Schwerdgeburth's 

1 Republished in the Groizboten, iii. 562-564, 1885. 


Engraving and the Medal from Frau von Goethe. A 
grateful, copious answer failed not to leave by the next post ; 
which, it seems, was an answer spoken to the winds. In 
truth, you Weimar friends have had need of faith, and I 
am most happy to see it has certainly not been wanting. 
And now, dear Eckermann, will you, after such an interval, 
accept yourself and present to the others, all the thanks 
you can imagine me to have expressed. Say to Frau von 
Goethe that her Medal, still wrapped in your handwriting and 
reposited in a little Roman porphyry box . . . lies on our 
mantelpiece, and daily reminds us of her, moreover that we 
have not forgotten her promise of a Letter, and we hope it 
is likewise remembered by herself. Say to the Geheimrath 
[von Miiller] that I have read, and am again reading in more 
than one language, his valuable piece of writing, with real 
pleasure, and that I feel myself richer by his regard. And 
now let us hope that no such interruption and delay in our 
Correspondence will occur again as long as there is nothing 
to divide us but mere physical distance : nay, I am about 
to come nearer to you, if not a great deal nearer in actual 
miles, much nearer in social facilities. 

For this, my friend, is in all probability the last letter 
you will receive from Craigenputtock. With Whitsuntide 
we are to be in London ; in two days I set out to make 
our arrangements on the spot : and there in future we are 
to have our habitation. That this will make a great differ- 
ence in our external affairs you can imagine, but you can 
hardly realise how very great this change will be : from the 
deepest, stillest solitude in this world to the most huge, 
tumultuous, never-resting Babel that ever the sun looked 
down upon. The thought fills me with a nameless, vague 
foreboding, but the step is unavoidable, indeed is plainly 
necessary. I comfort myself, however, with the saying of 


our Goethe, grounded on clear insight and ever again recur- 
ring to one's mind with a new application : " We look upon 
our scholars as so many swimmers who in the element 
which threatened to swallow them, feel with astonishment 
that they are lighter, that it bears and carries them for- 
ward." 1 True, how true ! Let us swim then, so long as 
life lasts, in this or other water, with more room or less, 
and, provided our course be right, bless our fate. I used 
to call the London stream Phlegethon Fleetditch ; but I find, 
however delirious the condition of Literature is becoming 
and has become, that it cannot be carried on by an Eng- 
lishman in any other place than London. So through Phlege- 
thon Fleetditch lies our way, and, with God's help, we will 
follow it as blamelessly as possible. Thus henceforth the 
old stone mansion of Craigenputtock is to be left deserted, 
or inhabited only by men, with double-barrelled guns, 
intent on shooting the moorfowl, and who know nothing 
of Weimar. So now you will have to figure us in quite 
another kind of environment. 

Add to all these external confusions, that I have for a 
long time been in a kind of spiritual crisis, — of which con- 
dition you will no doubt have had experience and will know 
how horrible it is to speak of it until its issue has become 
clear, — and you will not think it singular that I should this 
year have written less than in any of the last ten, and that 
of what I have written I should have been able to publish 
nothing. But when Heaven favours me, I shall still have 
one and another thing to say. With German Literature in 
particular I have had as good as no concern ; the few books 
that have reached me are nothing of more consequence 
than Heyne and Borne and the like, of no worth or of less 

. l Wilhelm Meister s Travels (Library Edition, 1871), p. 267. 


than none. My Goethe on the other hand, with all that 
pertains to him, grows greater and ever truer the more I 
attain to clearness in myself. And yet he stands there, a 
completed subject, as one might say, to which there will be 
nothing further added, — like a granite promontory, high 
and serene, stretching far out into the waste chaos, but not 
through it. Through it the world seems to be seeking out 
for itself another path, or else to have given up all zeal after 
such. To me highly significant ! With him and his work, 
it appears that my labours in the field of German Literature 
may with advantage be brought to an end, or at any rate, 
to a pause. And moreover, as to my own England, my 
mission, in so far as it can be called my mission, may be 
regarded as fulfilled ; as witness merely this, that we have 
had within the last twelve months no fewer than three new 
translations of Faust, of which two appeared in Edinburgh 
on one and the same day. In truth the fire is kindled, and 
we have enough of smoke, and more than enough — there 
is here and there, even a little flame, as in Mrs. Austin's 
Characteristics of Goethe which you will no doubt have seen. 
All this is in the common course of things ; it will at some 
time be all flame and clear light, on which account we will 
for the present cheerfully welcome the smoke. "And do 
thou take thy bellows and go elsewhere ! " This is one of 
the aspects of the spiritual crisis I spoke of. How it will 
end, or if it is already ending, I will give you some signal 
when I have succeeded in putting together, in London, 
some patchwork of recent Essays; which latter are likely 
for a long time to be our only vehicle of publication, at 
least the only one for me, much as I hate it. 

In such an attitude towards my old favourites, you may 
judge whether the Correspondence of Goethe and Zelter, 
which you announce in your last communication, is likely 


to be welcome to me. Zelter himself, the solid man and 
mason, is a figure on whom I look with almost filial love. 
That Goethe so loved him is to me another beautiful proof 
of his universal geniality. The book will, I think, have 
already come to England ; but this I shall not learn for 
certain till I get to London. Of the Nachgelassene Werke I 
possess no copy and have only seen the first Section, — in 
which I read the continuation of Faust, with deeper reflec- 
tions than I have yet been able to express. Many thanks 
for your kind offer to send it tome; I shall receive the 
packet with pleasure, no matter what the cost of carriage 
may be. The whole of the Werke which I have here, are 
a present from him ; and I should like to have all the 
volumes uniform. But in any case I should think the cost of 
carriage will not be much. What our address in London 
will be we do not yet know ; meanwhile, that of Messrs. 
Black, Young and Young, Foreign Booksellers, Tavistock 
Street, Covent Garden, London, will always find me ; and 
for everything, except post -letters, is probably the best. 
They have an agent in Leipzig (a certain Herbig, I think, 
probably known to your Weimar Bookseller) ; once in his 
hands any parcel will reach me in a few weeks. 

When we have cast anchor in London you shall hear 
from me again. Let us hope that the present letter may 
not go astray also ! 

If you think of writing to me soon, as I hope you will 
do, the above address may be employed, or better still, the 
following : " Care of Mrs. Austin, 5 Orme Square, Bays water, 
London." Tell me, I beg of you, fully and minutely, what 
you are about and what your outlooks are. Are we not to 
see you face to face in the modern Babel ? A bedroom and 
a hearty welcome will await you there. From your letters 
1 gather that I shall see you. — You told me also of Con- 



versations with Goethe, which you were about to write 
down. Falk, I should think, was a failure, almost a 
scandal : but yours will certainly be one of the most 
interesting books ever written. Do you know our English 
BoswelVs Life of Johnson ? If not, read it. There 
are not ten books of the eighteenth century so valuable. 
Farewell, my friend. The lady returns your kind greeting. 
Think of me as yours most faithfully, 

T. Carlyle. 

P.S. — London, 14th May. — Have arrived safe; expect 
amongst other things to see Mrs. Jameson here, and to 
hear from her a great deal about Weimar. No house found 
as yet. Ora pro nobis. 



Carlyle to Goethe, 24th June 1824. — Permit me, in soliciting 
your acceptance of this Translation (Wilhelm Meister's Ap- 
prenticeship), to return you my sincere thanks for the profit 
which, in common with many millions, I have derived from 
the Original. I have long hoped that I might one day see 
you, and pour out, as before a Father, the woes and wander- 
ings of my heart. (Pages 1, 2.) 

Goethe to Carlyle, 30th October. — Accept my sincere 
thanks for your hearty sympathy in my literary work. Per- 
haps I may hereafter come to know much of you. I send 
copy of a set of poems which you can hardly have seen. (2-5.) 

Carlyle to Goethe, 15th April 1827. — Above two years ago 
I received your kind letter and present, which I value with a 
regard which can belong to nothing else. If I have been 
delivered from darkness into any measure of light, it is to you 
more than any other man that I am indebted. I now take 
the liberty to offer you some further poor products of my 
endeavours {Schiller and German Romance). Ere long your 
name and doctrines will be English as well as German. If 
there be any gift in me, I may yet send you some work of my 
own. My young wife, who sympathises with me in most 
things, agrees also in my admiration of you ; and begs you to 
accept the accompanying purse, the work of her own hands. 
May I hope to hear from you again ? (6-1 1.) 

Goethe to Carlyle, 17th May. — Let me hastily announce the 


arrival of your welcome packet and kind letter. Most sincere 
thanks to the dear husband and wife. A packet will speedily 
be despatched in testimony of my sympathetic interest. (11,12.) 

The same, 20th July. — Let me, first of all, commend most 
highly your Biography of Schiller. It is evident that the 
efforts of the best writers in all nations are now being directed 
to what is universal in humanity. Every translator is a kind 
of middle-man in this universal spiritual commerce. Gratify 
me soon with some reply ; and permit me to greet your dear 
wife, for whom I give myself the pleasure of adding some 
trifles, in return for her charming gift. Accept my thanks 
for the pains expended on my Works. (13-27.) 

Carlyle to Goethe, 20th August. — No royal present could 
have gratified us more than yours. This little drawing-room 
may now be said to be full of you. For your ideas on the 
tendency of modern poetry to promote freer intercourse among 
nations, I must also thank you. You are kind enough to 
inquire about my bygone life ; and often I have longed to pour 
out the whole history before you. I was once an unbeliever, 
not in religion only ; but now, thank Heaven, all this is altered. 
I can now look forward with cheerfulness to a life spent in 
Literature, hoping little and fearing little from the world. 
Postscript, by Mrs. Carlyle, of heartfelt thanks. (30-35.) 

Goethe to Carlyle, 1st January 1828. — Another packet of 
books, etc., goes to you, via Hamburg. What may be the 
merit of Des Voeux's English translation of Tassof It is 
precisely the bearing of an orignal to a translation, which most 
clearly indicates the relations of nation to nation. Be so good 
as give your dear wife the parcel addressed to her. I send 
also six Medals, two for Sir Walter Scott ; the others please 
distribute to my well-wishers. Am greatly interested in the 
English appreciation of, and contact with, German Literature. 
" Little children, love one another !" (36-45.) 

The same, 1 5th January. — Message to Sir Walter Scott, 
and admiration of his Life of Napoleon. Cultured society in 


Weimar : such free bondage perhaps hardly exists anywhere 
else. Contents of parcel sent. (48-59.) 

Carlyle to Goethe, 17th January. — I have now to solicit a 
favour of a more practical, and as I may justly fear, of a more 
questionable nature ; that of a testimonial of fitness for the 
Professorship of Moral Philosophy at St. Andrews. Have just 
heard of your intended enlargement of the Wanderjahre, but 
confess I see not well what improvements could be made. 
Will Ottilie von Goethe accept the friendly compliments of 
Jane Welsh Carlyle ? We even paint day-dreams of spending 
next winter, or the following summer, in Weimar. (63-68.) 

Goethe to Carlyle, 14th March. — I shall be glad if the 
enclosed (the Testimonial), unfortunately delayed, should arrive 
in time. A little box was sent from here on the 20th of 
January, and I hope proved welcome. Let me have news 
of it, and greet your dear wife from me and mine. (68-70.) 

Carlyle to Goethe, 1 8th April. — The box was long delayed 
by the severe winter, but is now here in perfect safety: our 
best thanks are heartily yours. I have already written to Sir 
Walter Scott, announcing your delightful message. Within 
the last six years, the readers of your language here must have 
increased tenfold. Sorry am I to tell you that Des Voeux's 
translation of Tasso is unequivocally trivial: instances of its 
insufficiency. I shall never cease to value your Testimonial, 
although for the present occasion it was too rate. A Captain 
Skinner called here with your card, and delighted us by sing- 
ing Kcnnst die das Land. (81-90.) 

Mrs. Carlyle to Goethe, 10th June. — I embrace the oppor- 
tunity of sending you by Mr. May the continued assurance of 
our affection and grateful regard. (91.) 

Goethe to Carlyle, 15th June. — Your richly filled letter 
reached me in due time. Mr. Skinner is again with us, and 
gives us good and pleasant news of you and your surroundings. 
Perhaps never before did one nation take such pains to under- 
stand another as Scotland now does in respect to Germany. 


The unlucky Werner. Am greatly pleased with your treatment 
of Helena. Dr. Eckermann almost one of my family. The 
translation of Wallenstein has made a quite peculiar impression 
upon me : pray tell me the name of the translator. A trans- 
lator works not only for his own nation, but also for the one 
from whose language he translates. A letter enclosed from 
the good Eckermann. Alas, as I close this letter, there comes 
upon us the sad news of our excellent Prince's death. (91- 

Eckermann to Carlyle, 1 5th June. — You live much in our 
thoughts at this moment, through your criticism of Helena. 
French and Russian criticisms of the same. Your translation 
convinced me, for the first time, that it may be possible to 
render Faust perfectly in a foreign language. It could, I am 
sure, find no better translator than yourself. You will go on 
prospering in your studies, and England will owe you gratitude 
for them. I hope soon to hear direct from you how you and 
your amiable lady have settled yourselves in your new home 
in the country. (104-1 11.) 

Goethe to Carlyle (continuation of preceding letter). — 
Ottilie sends her most cordial greetings to Mrs. Carlyle. A 
piece of embroidery should have gone with this despatch. We 
Germans, like you, are occupying ourselves with foreign litera- 
ture. Greet your dear wife from me, and give me soon some 
clear idea of your present abode (Craigenputtock). (1 1 1-1 1 5.) 

The same, 8th August. — The most sad calamity has 
befallen us in the death of our estimable Prince, as I have 
already announced. You will sympathise with me in the con- 
dition in which, after more than fifty years of life together, I 
am left by the loss. Meanwhile it is a necessity diligently to 
maintain all my remaining connections with life. Fare you 
well, and let me hear from you soon. (1 1 5-1 1 7.) 

Carlyle to Goethe, 25th September 1828. — The book-parcel 
arrived last night : all in perfect safety, Books, Music, and 
Manuscript. One dainty little article I already notice, your 


translation of our ancient Scottish " Schwank," Get up and bar 
the door. Scotland is very rich in popular songs. In trying 
bereavements, when old friends are snatched away from you, 
it must be a consolation to think that, neither in this age nor 
in any other, can you ever be alone. Sir Walter Scott received 
the Medals several months ago. George Moir is the name of 
the translator of Wallenstein. Articles on German Literature. 
Burns. Description of Craigenputtock. Jane unites with me 
in affectionate respects to your Ottilie, whom in many a day- 
dream we still hope to see and know in her Father's circle. 
Pray assure Dr. Eckermann of my regard, and purpose to 
express it directly. (1 17-127.) 

Goethe to Carlyle, 25th June 1829. — Were an echo to 
reach you as often as we think and speak of you, you would 
often be aware of a friendly presence. I am now addressing 
a written conversation from my " fireside " to yours. When 
I visit distant friends in thought, I do not like to let my 
imagination wander in space. I therefore beg for myself a 
sketch of your dwelling and its surroundings. With your 
countryman, Burns, I am sufficiently acquainted to prize him, 
but the Scotch dialect is very perplexing to us. I now 
announce the speedy despatch of a box, containing the Fourth 
and Fifth Sections of my Works, with something pleasant from 
the ladies of my household. (127-138.) 

Eckermann to Carlyle, 2d July. — Your valued letter of 
December last gave me much pleasure. Your article on 
Goethe in the Foreign Review has excited great interest in 
Germany. I could say a great deal about the new and 
extended edition of the Wanderjahre. If you had courage to 
pull your volume to pieces, and, on this new basis, reconstruct 
the whole, one might hope your country would be grateful to 
you. Goethe enjoys most excellent health, and we have the 
joyful hope that he may live and work amongst us for many 
years to come. (139-145.) 

Goethe to Carlyle, 6th July. — The parcel already announced 


is only now being despatched. It contains the final proof- 
sheets of a translation of your Life of Schiller. On the 28th 
of August I beg you quietly to keep my eightieth birthday. 
At the bottom of the little box there is lying a gift sent by 
the ladies of my family, with the friendliest feelings. (145- 

Carlyle to Goethe, 3d November. — Your much prized- letter 
and packet have both arrived in perfect safety and entireness. 
Six years ago, the possibility of a Letter, of a Present from 
Goethe to me, would have seemed little less wondrous and 
dreamlike than from Shakespeare or Homer. My wife bids 
me say that she intends to read your entire Works this winter : 
she sends her best thanks to your Ottilie for the beautiful 
gift. Thanks also for the volume sent, in which I can already 
discover no little matter for reflection. The Farbe?ilehre I 
have never seen, and shall thankfully accept and study. I 
still remember that it was the desire to read Werner's Miner- 
alogical Doctrines in the original, that first set me on studying 
German. A little packet, chiefly for your Ottilie, is getting 
ready. In regard to my employments, I am still but an 
Essayist, and longing more than ever to be a Writer in a far 
better sense. (152-159.) 

The same, 2 2d December. — The promised packet at length 
sets out, with true wishes on our part that it may find you 
happy and busy, and bring kind remembrances of friends that 
love you. The Craigenputtock Sketches are from the pencil 
of Mr. Moir, the translator of Wallenstein, to whom I have 
presented the last of the four Medals. The portfolio is of 
my wife's manufacture, who sends among other love-tokens a 
lock of her hair. She begs and hopes that you will send her 
a lock of yours in return. The Cowpefs Poems you are to 
accept as a New-year's gift from me. A knowledge of German 
literature is fast spreading over all the domains of the English 
tongue. Have almost decided to write a History of German 
Literature ; but still purpose to try something infinitely greater. 


Alas, the huge formless Chaos is here, but no creative voice to 
say, " Let there be light." (159-165.) 

Carlyle to Eckermann, 20th March 1830. — No spot on 
the globe is at present so significant to me as Weimar. We 
are still speculating on a winter's residence there. A little 
box recently despatched. Was shocked to hear of Milliner's 
death. Increasing attention amongst us to the Literature of 
neighbouring nations. My projected History of German 
Literature. A few words from you might save me much 
groping. My wife sends her kind regards, and continued hope 
of one day seeing you. (165-173.) 

Goethe to Carlyle, 1 3th April. — The precious casket, after 
long delay owing to the extreme severity of the winter, at last 
arrived safely. I will mention first the incomparable lock of 
hair. I did not need to touch my skull to become aware that 
only stubble was left there. The impossibility of making the 
desired return smote my heart. The elegant Scotch Bonnet, 
I can assure you, has given much pleasure. Ottilie sends her 
most grateful thanks. Let me announce the despatch of another 
parcel in return, which will contain, with other books, the final 
proof-sheets of the translation of your Schiller. I trust you 
will not regard the use I have made of some portions of our 
correspondence as an indiscretion. Tell me how you propose 
to introduce German literature amongst your people, and I will 
gladly give you my thoughts on the sequence of its epochs. Dr. 
Eckermann is making a journey south with my son. (173-184.) 

Carlyle to Goethe, 23d May. — Our long-cherished hope of 
seeing you in person now assumes some faint shape of possi- 
bility. We have been pondering together over that glorious 
Mahrchen of yours, and I have promised my wife some day to 
write a commentary on it. In regard to my History of Ger- 
man Literature, I need not say that no words of yours can be 
other than valuable. For your guidance in this charitable 
service, I will try to explain as clearly as I can the scope of 
my project. My wife unites with me in friendliest wishes. 


Few men have been permitted to finish such a task as yours. 


Goethe to Carlyle, 6th June. — Your valued letter took only four- 
teen days in coming, and this incites me to write immediately. 
No alterations to be suggested in your proposed book : only a 
few gaps here and there. I will immediately despatch books in 
aid, and some further works of my own. Illustrations and 
Preface to the German translation of Schiller. To your dear 
wife my most friendly greetings : by means of the silhouette 
she has come much nearer to us. May she now send us such 
another portrait of her husband. I am glad that famous 
Mdhrchen does not fail in its effect. A normal imagination 
irresistibly demands from it something logical and consistent, 
which reason never succeeds in accomplishing. However I 
possess two interpretations, which I will seek out, and if 
possible send in the little box. A peerless lock of black 
hair impels me to add with true regret that the desired return 
is, alas, impossible. (193-207.) 

Carlyle to Goethe, 31st August. — The packet, containing 
books and other valuables, arrived in perfect order. The 
bibliopolic fate of that History of German Literature, in 
which you are pleased to take an interest, has become more 
dubious than ever. Nor do I much regret it : my first pro- 
fessed appearance in Literature may now take place under 
some less questionable character than that of a Compiler. A 
wonderful Chaos within me, full of natural Supernaturalism 
and all manner of Antediluvian fragments. I see not what is 
to come of it all, and only conjecture, from the violence of the 
fermentation, that something strange may come. Goethe- 
Schiller Correspondence. The promised interpretation of the 
Mdhrchen still earnestly wanted by the female intellect. I 
had a strange letter with certain strange books, from the 
Saint-Simonians in Paris ; if you have chanced to notice that 
affair, I could like much to hear your thoughts. (207-215.) 
Goethe to Carlyle, 5th October. — Once more a little box is 


going to you ; and at last the Life of Schiller in German trans- 
lation. May you succeed in making your nation acquainted 
with the good points of the Germans. Constantly, at all 
epochs and in every place, the result should be to exhibit, 
transmit, and if possible establish, something beneficial to 
mankind. Our Berlin friends (the Society for Foreign Litera- 
ture) have sent me a Diploma, in which they appoint Mr. 
Thomas Carlyle of Craigenputtock a foreign honorary mem- 
ber. (215-224.) 

The same, 17th October. — I now enclose you the letter 
from the Berlin Society, in which their resolution concerning 
you was transmitted to me. From the St. Simonian Society 
pray hold yourself aloof : more about this on another occasion. 

Carlyle to Goethe, 23d October. — From the first sentence 
of your otherwise most welcome letter, I fear that mine of 
August may have failed to reach you, but will still hope that 
it was not so. Schiller and Burns. The peculiar expressive- 
ness of the latter's diction, at all times hard to be seized by a 
translator : the whole British nation passionately attached to 
him. Our kindest wishes every way to Ottilie. (227-236.) 

The same, 15 th November. — The box, with all its precious 
contents, arrived in perfect order. I now enclose a few lines 
of thanks to our Berlin friends. Your Introduction to Schiller 
fitter to have stood at the head of some Epic Poem of my 
writing than here. Am sometimes meditating a translation 
of Faust, for which the English world is getting more and 
more prepared. Postscript of grateful thanks from Mrs. 
Carlyle. (236-242.) 

Eckermann to Carlyle, 6th December. — I returned to 
Weimar last week alone. Herr von Goethe, the son, as you 
perhaps have heard, died at Rome. Goethe also has had so 
violent a hemorrhage of the lungs that his life was in danger ; 
but he is now up again and busy in his usual ways. I now 
look forward to the completion of Faust, of which so much is 

2 A 


finished. It is not for me to offer advice, but were I in your 
place I would employ my best leisure hours on a faithful trans- 
lation. One should never ask if a nation is ready for a work : 
nations are matured by daring works. Postscript, by Goethe, 
giving assurance of his improved health ; with greetings and 
blessings to the dear Pair. (242-252.) 

Carlyle to Goethe, 2 2d January 1831. — Words of sympathy 
and comfort. Your being busy with a Continuation of Faust 
could not be other than great news to me. Have almost de- 
termined upon attempting a translation. Taylor's Historic 
Survey of Germa?i Poetry, which I am reviewing, you may 
judge of by the fact that the longest article but one is on 
August von Kotzebue. I fear you will not like the satirical 
style, but all the more agreeable will be some concluding 
speculations, on what after you I have called World-Literature, 
with its "Sacred College and Council of Amphictyons." 
Meanwhile, I am working at another curious enterprise of my 
own {Sartor Resartus), which is yet too amorphous to be 
prophesied of. A little collection of Memorials is getting 
together for the next 28th of August. The Saint-Simonians 
have again communicated with me. Although wandering in 
strange paths, I cannot but look upon their Society and its 
progress as a true and remarkable Sign of the Times. The 
world is heavily struggling out into a new era ; but the Sun 
and Seasons are the only changes that visit this wilderness. 

Hitzig to Carlyle, 28th January. — Explaining the objects 
of the Berlin Society for Foreign Literature. (260-264.) 

Goethe to Carlyle, 2d June. — We have been so secluded of 
late, that we have been like to form a kind of Craigenputtock 
in the midst of Weimar. Another package of books getting 
ready. The good Eckermann of great value to me. Neu- 
reuther's Marginal Drawings. Poetry will always remain the 
happy refuge of Mankind. Mrs. Carlyle requested to contri- 
bute to Ottilie's Periodical, called Chaos. The Metamorphosis 


of Plants. Many good and beautiful hours are still granted 
us. The fairest greetings from me and Ottilie for the dear 
pair of hermits. (264-276.) 

The same, 1 5th June. — Just as I am about to close the box, 
I find there is still room ; I am therefore having packed up 
for you some numbers of one of our most popular journals, 
the Morgenblatt. There is also a copy of the translation of 
Schiller for my lady friend, to show her how even the book- 
binders of the Continent study neatness and elegance. 

Carlyle to Goethe, 10th June. — Daily do I send affectionate 
wishes to the Man, to whom more than any other living, I 
stand indebted and united. A little poetic Ttigendbtmd of 
Philo-Germans is forming itself in London, whereof you are 
the Centre ; the first public act of which should come to light 
at Weimar on your approaching Birthday. Of this little 
Philo-German Combination ; what it now specially proposes, 
and whether it is likely to grow into a more lasting union for 
more complex purposes, — I hope to speak hereafter. Interest- 
ing phenomena of hopeful significance. In these last months 
I have been busy with a Piece more immediately my own ; 
but, alas, it is not a Picture that I am painting, but a half- 
reckless casting of the brush, with its many frustrated colours, 
against the canvas : whether it will make good Foam is still 
a venture. In some six weeks I expect to be in London, 
wishing to look a little with my own eyes at the world, getting 
so enigmatic. (279-286.) 

The same, 13th August. — I now send you a word of remem- 
brance from this chaotic whirlpool of a city, where I arrived 
three days ago. Endless gratitude I owe you, for it is by you 
that I have learned what worth there is in man for his 
brother-man; and how the "open secret" is still open for 
whoso has an eye. A birthday gift from " Fifteen English 
Friends " should reach you on your Birthday. Let me hope it 
may arrive in due season, and the sight of it give you some 


gratifying moments. I have come hither chiefly to dispose of 
the Piece which I lately described myself as writing : meant 
to be a " word spoken in season." But the whole world here 
is dancing a Tarantula Dance of Political Reform, and has no 
ear left for Literature. Figure me and mine as thinking of 
you, loving you; as present especially on that 28th, with 
wishes as warm as loving hearts can feel. (287-291.) 

Fifteen English .Friends to Goethe. — Begging his accept- 
ance of a Birthday Gift, as a true testimony of their feelings of 
reverence and gratitude towards him. (292-294.) 

Goethe to Carlyle, 19th August. — Poetical thanks to "the 
Fifteen." — Britons ye have understood : The mind active, the 
deed restrained, the purpose unhastingly steadfast. In the 
books you sent I find much that is delightful. The silhouettes, 
in an inconceivable way, bring the absent before one. The 
gift of the associated friends has afforded us a pleasure as 
unusual as unexpected. To the dear Pair, happy hours ! 

Appendix II 

Goethe to Carlyle, 14th June 1830. — Contents of packet 
sent. (See Letter XXVII. p. 193.) Chaos, a weekly paper, con- 
taining social pleasantries, for private circulation. Ottilie, the 
sole editor ; further favours from our friends in the county of 
Dumfries are requested. Hope to send you the translation of 
S chiller, in its complete form by the next despatch. (324-327.) 

Eckermann to Carlyle, 20th October 1832. — At the desire 
of many friends I have translated your first article on Goethe. 
(The article, Death of Goethe) I send you to-day two books 
which will interest you. Am very busy with Goethe's Post- 
humous Works. Doubt if I shall remain in Weimar for the 
future. Herr Schwerdgeburth sends you his new portrait of 
Goethe, one of the best that has appeared. Pray give my 
cordial greetings to Mrs. Carlyle. I hope you will soon 
receive a letter from Madame von Goethe herself. (3 2 %-33 2 -) 


The same, 10th November 1833. — This is the third letter I 
write to you, without knowing whether one of them has 
reached you. I now send you the announcement of the 
Correspo?idence between Goethe ajid Zelter, and the Preface to 
it. I trust I may soon hear something from you. (334-337-) 

Carlyle to Eckemnann, 6th May 1834. — Your kind letter 
of the 10th of November reached me only a few days ago. 
Your letter of last summer never arrived, and two of mine 
seem to have been lost. My last from you was the Weimar 
packet of the previous winter, which arrived in perfect safety, 
and to which I at once gratefully and copiously replied. And 
now, dear Eckermann, after such an interval, pray accept 
yourself, and present to our friends, all the thanks you can 
imagine me to have expressed. With Whitsuntide we are 
to be in London. I have for a long time been in a kind of 
spiritual crisis ; and you will know how horrible it is to speak 
of it, until its issue has become clear. Have had as good as 
no concern with German Literature ; although my Goethe, 
with all that pertains to him, grows greater and ever truer the 
more I attain to clearness in myself. My mission, if it may be 
so called, of introducing German Literature here, may now be 
regarded as fulfilled. Two new translations of Faust in one 
day. The fire is kindled, and we have smoke enough : it will 
some day be all flame and clear light. " Do thou take thy 
bellows, and go elsewhere ! " This is one of the aspects of 
my spiritual crisis. When we have cast anchor in London 
you shall hear from me again. Are we not to see you face 
to face in the modern Babel ? The lady returns your kind 
greetings. Or a pro nobis. (337-342.) 


Austin's, Mrs., Characteristics of 
Goethe, 340; mentioned, 341. 

Bentinck, the Lords, take charge 
of a packet from Goethe to 
Carlyle, 5, 6. 

Berlin Society for Foreign Litera- 
ture, 223 ; letter to Goethe, in- 
forming him that Carlyle had 
been elected an honorary mem- 
ber, 227 ; to Carlyle, explaining 
the objects of the Society, 262 ; 
Goethe's dedication to, of Car- 
lyle's Life of Schiller, 299-301. 

Boisseree, Dr. Sulpiz, 65. 

Boswell's Life of Johnson, 342. 

Carlyle; sends translation of Wil- 
hel/n Afeister's Apprenticeship to 
Goethe, 1 ; delight on receiving 
his friendly reply, 6, 13 ; sends 
Life of Schiller, and German 
Romance, 7 ; their favourable 
reception in England, 8 ; packets 
from Goethe, xvii, 28, 42, 70, 
81, 117, 148, 154, 289, 326; 
Articles on German Literature, 
45, 122, 158, 168 ; candidate 
for the Professorship of Moral 
Philosophy at St. Andrews, 63 ; 
Goethe's Testimonial, 71-80, 
89 ; perplexity about Goethe, 
81 ; Essay on Burns, 123 ; letter 
from Goethe received at Craig- 

enputtock, 138'; Life of Schiller 
translated into German, 144, 
149, 155, 181, 203, 214, 220, 
238, 299 ; no longer any care 
for mathematics, 156 ; still but 
an Essayist, 158; projected 
History of German Literature, 
159, 163, 170, 187, 200, 207-n; 
packets sent to Goethe, 159-61, 
167, 257, 288 ; letters and books 
from the Saint-Simonians, 214, 
226, 258 ; honorary member of 
the Berlin Society for Foreign 
Literature, 222, 234, 237 ; medi- 
tates translating Faust, 240 ; 
urged by Dr. Eckermann, 250 ; 
letter to his mother about 
Goethe's illness, 252 ; a little 
Tugendbitnd of Philo-Germans 
forming in London, 281, 323 ; 
Sartor Resartus, 285, 290 ; in 
London, 287 ; birthday gift to 
Goethe, 289 ; hears at Dumfries 
of Goethe's death, 298 ; kind 
gifts from Weimar, 333 ; in a 
kind of spiritual crisis, 339 ; his 
mission of introducing German 
Literature to England now ful- 
filled, 340; settled in London, 

Carlyle, John A., 13, 138, 292, 
333 ; at Miinchen, 65, 127 ; 
letter to, about Goethe, 80. 

Carlyle, Margaret, 138, 253. 



Carlyle, Mrs. ; admiration of 
Goethe ; sends him a purse of 
her own making, 10 ; receives 
in return a wrought-iron neck- 
lace, 28 ; writes her thanks, 35 ; 
other presents, 42, 59, 70, 81, 
149 ; friendly greeting to Ottilie 
von Goethe, 67, 154 ; hopes to 
visit Germany and Weimar, 68, 
126, 166, 173, 185 ; writes to 
Goethe introducing Mr. May 
of Glasgow, 91 ; intends to read 
Goethe's entire Works, 153; a 
present to Ottilie, 157, 180; 
sends a lock of her hair to 
Goethe, and begs one of his in 
return, 161, 179, 206; lively 
interest in the Mahrchen, 186, 
214; begs a little scrap of 
Schiller's handwriting, 213 ; 
receives a copy of Goethe's 
Poems, dated on his birthday, 
239 ; her heartfelt thanks for 
so many tokens of kindness, 
241 ; last present from Goethe, 

Chaos, a Weimar weekly paper, for 
private circulation, edited by 
Ottilie von Goethe, 235 note, 
274, 326-7. 

Churchill, translator of Wallen- 
stein's Lager, 292. 

Cowper's Poems, 161. 

Craigenputtock, description of, 
124-6 ; sketches of, sent to 
Goethe, 160, 204, 238, 306. 

Dupin's cosmopolitan works, 44. 

Diirer, Albert, 273. 

Eckermann's account of Goethe 
and Scott, . 54 note ; Goethe's 
esteem for him, 100 ; writes to 

Carlyle, 108, 127, 142, 247, 330, 
335 > Carlyle requests his help, 
J 59> 165, 170 j going on a 
journey south, 183 ; presents 
Carlyle with Wachler's Lectures 
on German Literature, 201 ; re- 
turns to Weimar, 247, 272 ; 
editing Goethe's Posthumous 
Works, 331, 336. 
Empson, William, editor of the 
Edinburgh Review, 255, 282-4. 

Falk, 342. 

Farbenlehre, the, 150, 156, 182, 
203, 212. 

Faust, Lord F. L. Gower's Trans- 
lation of, 240, 250; Carlyle's 
intention of translating, 240, 250, 
252, 254 ; expected completion 
of, 69, 249, 331 ; two transla- 
tions of, published the same day, 

Fifteen English Friends present a 
Birthday-Gift to Goethe, 289-98. 

Fliigel, Dr. Ewald, 324. 

Fraser, William, editor of the 
Foreign Review, 86, no, 208, 
292, 297. 

Gellert, 79. 

German Literature, progress of in 
England, xii, xvi, 8, 9, 43, 85, 
98, 162, 168, 186, 254, 281, 289, 
321-3, 340. 

German Romance sent to Goethe, 
7, 23. 

Gleig, G. R., 1 jo note. 

Goethe, August von, 247. 

Goethe, Ottilie von, 67, 126, 270, 
33 2 > 333, 338 ; sends presents to 
Mrs. Carlyle, 113, 154; a return 
present, 157 ; edits a private 



Weimar Periodical, called Chaos, 
235 note, 274, 326-7. 

Goethe ; commendation of Car- 
lyle's Schiller, and of the in- 
troductory notices in German 
Romance, 22, 23 ; his high notion 
of a World - Literature, 24, 42, 
256, 282, 301 ; sends presents to 
Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle, 28, 59, 
70, 117, 326; two medals for 
Sir Walter Scott, 43 ; Goethe's 
appreciation of his Life of Na- 
poleon, 53-6 ; grief at the death 
of the Prince, 103, 115; Vogel's 
portrait of, 1 18; his excellent 
health, 145 ; sends engraving of 
his house to Carlyle, 165 ; offers 
to advise him as to his projected 
History of German Literature, 
183 ; death of his son, 247 ; his 
own serious illness and recovery, 
248, 251 ; a Birthday-Gift from 
" Fifteen English Friends," 289, 
291-4; his death, 298 ; Introduc- 
tion to the translation of Carlyle' s 
Life of Schiller, 299-323. See 

Gower, Lord F. L., 240, 250, 292. 

Hare, Archdeacon, 162 note. 

Hazlitt's Life of Napoleon, 83. 

Heavyside, Mr., in Weimar, 57. 

Helena, a bright mystic vision, 33, 
99, 108, 250. 

Heraud, editor of Eraser's Maga- 
zine, 292. 

Herder, 306. 

Hitzig, 223, 227, 234, 262, 275. 

Hoffmann, 23, 43, 86. 

Irving, Edward, mentioned, 1 
note, 13. 

Jardine, Robert, gives Carlyle 

lessons in German, ix. 
Jeffrey, Lord, 81, 84, 121, 259. 
Jerdan, William, 169, 292. 

Kaufmann, Philipp, attempts a 
German translation of Burns, 
223, 232. 

Leslie, Professor, 156 note. 
Lessing, 190. 

Lockhart, 45, 54 note, 81, 83, 
292 ; his Life of Burns, 313. 

Maginn, Dr., 292. 

Mahrchen, Das, 185, 205, 214. 

May, Mr., of Glasgow, 91. 

Metamorphosis of Plants, The, 275. 

Moir, George, translator of Wal- 
lenstein, 10 1, 122, 292 ; makes 
sketches of Craigenputtock, to 
be sent to Goethe, 160. 

Montagu, Mrs., mentioned, 13. 

Moore, Thomas, to write a His- 
tory of Ireland, 170. 

Morgenblatt, the, 278. 

Midler's, Chancellor von, Essay 
on Goethe, 331, 336, 338. 

Milliner's Plays, 168. 

Musaus, 23. 

Neureuther's Marginal Draw- 
ings to Goethe's Parables, 272. 

Niebuhr ; translation of his History 
of Rome, 162. 

Ottilie. See Goethe, Ottilie von. 
Oxford and Cambridge Universi- 
ties, 161. 

Procter, B. W., 292. 

Reeve, Henry, 332. 
Richter, Jean Paul, n, 23 ; article 
on, 158. 



Sachs-Weimar-Eisenach, Duke 
of; his death greatly lamented 
by Goethe, 103, 116. 

Sartor Resartus, first struggling 
conception of, 210, 252 ; yet too 
amorphous to be prophesied of, 
256, 285 ; meant to be a " word 
spoken in season," 290. 

Schiller, Life of, xiii ; sent to 
Goethe, 7 ; his high commenda- 
tion of it, 22, 302 ; Correspond- 
ence of, with Goethe, 143, 155, 
161, 172, 202, 212; Carlyle's 
Essay on, 161 ; Garden-house 
at Jena, 204; contrasted with 
Burns, 231. 

Schulze, Ernst, 43. 

Schwerdgeburth's portrait of 
Goethe, 334. 

Scottish Songs, 20, 118. 

Scott, Sir Walter ; Goethe sends 
two medals for, 43, 45, 81, 121 ; 
his Life of Napoleon, 53-6, 83 ; 
article on Hoffmann, 86 ; His- 
tory of Scotland, 1 70 ; one 
of Goethe's "Fifteen English 
Friends," 292. 

Seal sent to Goethe on his eighty- 
second Birthday, 289-97. 

Seidel, Dr., 264. 

Simonians, Saint, 214, 226, 258. 

Skinner, Captain, 90, 98, 134. 

Soret, M., 275. 

Southey, 292. 

Stael's, Madame de, Germany, 

Strachey, Mrs. ; her admiration for 
the Lehrjahre, 9. 

Swan, Mr. , of Kirkcaldy, ix. 

Taylor, William, of Norwich, 

122 ; his Historic Survey of 

German Poetry, 255. 
Thackeray's account of life at 

Weimar, 59-62. 
Tieck, Carlyle's esteem for, 11. 
Thirl wall, 162 note. 
Thomson, Dr. A. T. , 44 note. 
Thorwaldsen, 247 note. 
Translation, peculiar uses of a 

good, 26, 101. 

Utilitarianism in England, 164, 
173, 192. 

Verses sent by Goethe to Carlyle, 
21, 29, 30, 46, 148, 151, 295. 

Voeux's, Des, translation of 
Goethe's Tasso, 41, 87-9. 

Wachler, Dr. Ludwig, 201, 212, 
221, 326. 

Wallenstein, Professor Moir's trans- 
lation of, 101, 122. 

Weimar, society in, 57, 59-62. 

Werner, Zacharias, 85, 99. 

Werner's Mineralogy first set 
Carlyle studying German, 157. 

Wilhelm Meisters Apprenticeship, 
x, xiii ; sent to Goethe, 1 ; its 
reception in England, 8, 9 ; the 
Travels, 7, 8, 66, 144, 154. 

Wilson, Professor, editor of Black- 
wood's Magazine, 81, 292. 

Wolley, Thomas, 59, 90. 

Wordsworth, 81, 292. 

Zelter, 29, 2g4nole; Correspond- 
ence between Goethe and, 336, 

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PT Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von 

2027 Correspondence between 

L53N6 Goethe and Carlyle